“I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin…”
When civil rights activist Malcolm X spoke those words almost 60 years ago, he, unlike most, understood the gravity of them. Even in those turbulent times, he could already see the schism at the center of the Black community. It would seem that even after the once prominent NOI leader was gunned down by that same Nation of Islam in front of his wife and children, those still seeking to further divide Black America have yet to abandon their mission.
Let us consider the recent tragedy.
According to reports, 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was stopped for reckless driving on Jan. 7th. After the stop, a confrontation occurred, and he fled on foot. When the police gave chase, they caught up with him and yet another confrontation ensued. After being taken into custody he was rushed by ambulance to Memphis’ St. Francis hospital where he later died.
While America had yet to see the video, and knew very little; the race-baiters had already seen it and were formulating their plan.
On Wednesday January 25th, Chief Cerelyn Davis of the Memphis P.D. went on live television to “prepare” the populace for what seemed to be the precursor to Armageddon. As Chief Davis gave the address to Memphis Wednesday evening, she called Nichols’ death “heinous, reckless and inhumane.” Understanding there will be strong emotions when viewing the video, she urged people to avoid reacting with violence, Fox News reported.
“This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity towards another individual,” Davis said, alluding that the five terminated officers as well as others who were involved in his death “failed our community, and they failed the Nichols family. That is beyond regrettable.
In the vein of transparency, when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves,” she
added. “I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels. I expect you to feel outraged by the disregard for basic human rights as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video.”
Fueling the Fire
Davis said she expects protests since the video’s contents will likely provoke action. But she discouraged community members from reacting with violence. “I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, to demand action and results. But we need to ensure our community is safe in this process,” the chief
exhorted. “None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or against our citizens.”
That she would shamelessly fire up her audience but essentially say, ”riot-but don’t riot too much” is disgusting beyond words. This woman has ice water in her veins.
After witnessing one of the worst incidents of police brutality on record, all that this opportunistic, once fired public official could do is put the retired adage, “never let a crisis go to waste” back into circulation. However, to fully understand the gravity of this moment in time, we must divorce the tragedy from the promotion of it.
Needless to say, no one, absolutely no one honestly believes that somehow Tyre Nichols deserved such injustice at the hands of these 5 Black, obviously callus, heartless, and gutless police officers. They deservedly have and should have been charged as well as any of those “officers” that witnessed the unwarranted attack and did nothing.
The Adverse Value of Violence
Nevertheless, the brutal attack, while also salient, is an equally important separate issue. As much as many that read Malcolm’s eerily prophetic quote would like, ignoring the truth that he saw even then is impossible to do.
Despite what Chief Davis professes, she clearly has no desire to “prepare” her audience, but rather to “prime” them.
Much like a carnival or circus barker outside the tent of the bearded lady, or Jo Jo the dog-faced boy, she spends an inordinate amount of time hyping up what we’re about to see. She impresses upon her captive audience how shocking, jaw dropping and beyond belief what is just beyond the curtain behind her, as she continues her “you won’t believe your eyes” rhetoric. However, this is not clearly her first rodeo; she knows exactly what she is doing. She is already acutely aware just how violent her city is.
According to Property Club Real estate consultant’s website, the most dangerous city in the US is Memphis. With a population of 628,127, Memphis has a crime rate that is 237% higher than the national average. Memphis has 7,913 crimes per 100,000 people, with an exceptionally high violent crime rate.
Push Comes to Shove
In 2022, there were 15,318 incidents of violent crime, including 289 counts of murder, 2,134 counts of robbery, and 12,484 incidents of assault.” In addition, Memphisflyer.com reports that based on current homicide statistics,
Blacks there have the highest chance of being murdered, and that their attackers are most likely Black as well.
It states, “Eighty-eight percent of all homicide victims are black. Of those, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) classifies 64 percent of them as “black-on- black” crimes. However, except in cases in which the attackers are unknown, all African-American homicides were committed by African Americans.” To those living in this city, they already know how bad it is and need no reminder.
In other words, if you live at the circus, you don’t need to be prepped to meet the bearded lady; you have lunch with her every day. It begs the question, why would she tell her city to “brace themselves” to see brutal violence, when they live in a city that has an average of 1,900 (reported) cases of violent crime for every 100,000 residents?
The answer is clear- to spark more violence and give the appearance of a protector/savior.
Nothing to See Here, Folks!
One would expect an official in her position to do all in their power to quell the tempers and emotions in the wake of the Nichol’s video. That is clearly not her intent; she is one of those, according to the civil rights leader that was murdered by several Black men, that want to “continue the system of exploitation.” But what of the other Black victims like Tyre Nichols that apparently died at the hands of other Blacks?
- Rev. Autura Eason-Williams, a 52-year-old United Methodist district superintendent, was shot and killed July 18 outside her home during a carjacking.
- 14-year-old Naterria Douglas and her 17-year-old brother were shot death at a Memphis gas station in the early morning hours of December 17, 2022.
- 60-year-old Dr. Yvonne Nelson was shot and killed over the weekend near Craigmont Middle School, and the suspect was seen driving away in her car.
- Aspiring rapper Cash Desto, whose real name Destinee Govan, was driving a Porsche SUV with a 20-year-old female passenger at around 2:30 a.m. when a 4-door sedan pulled alongside the SUV at a red light; Govan was shot multiple times and robbed. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
- Krishun Smith died Saturday night after another man ran over him with an SUV, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).
- Four people were killed, including 17-year-old Corteria Wright and 24-year-old DeWayne Tunstall and three others were wounded in seven shootings and at least two carjackings before Ezekiel Kelly was arrested without incident at around 9 p.m.
These 8 victims of Black-on-Black crime (including the other 640 that have been murdered under her watch) did not get the same national spotlight attention as Nichols’ death did. While at this stage of the investigation we find ourselves with more questions than answers, this 24-year-old’s death was abhorrent, tragic and inexcusable. By that same token, Davis’s pimping Nichols’ horrific attack for her own personal gain was likewise abhorrent, tragic and inexcusable. Had those ‘irrelevant’ victims died at the hands of police, perhaps they would have Al Sharpton delivering their eulogies, too.