And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:42
According to the CDC, cancer ranks as the second highest cause of death among African-Americans, natural deaths that is. But what about unnatural causes like death by what I like to call ‘Cop Cancer’ that old hide-in-plain-sight epidemic that has plagued African-Americans since reconstruction. For the record, where does that rank among cause of death for African-Americans? What are the symptoms? What are some of the preventive measures to avoid becoming a victim and what treatment is available?
Well, the first question is a bit difficult to answer because within the archives of denial there are no records to research. And besides, do we really expect the fox to admit to the number of chickens he killed? Do we really? The second question regarding symptoms, while still difficult is somewhat less difficult depending on the when and the where. For example:
1) being harassed for no other reason that being African-American
2) beaten on the side of the highway by a state trooper
3) being called out of your name
4) taunted about your IQ
5) slammed on the hood of a car or on concrete
6) shot while standing on your front porch
7) shot when officers raid the wrong home
8) fired upon over 100 times as officers stand on the hood of your car
9) shot and killed as you flee
10) shot in the back as you lay on the ground
11) killed in Walmart while a holding toy gun that the store sells
12) being choked to death for selling loose cigarettes
13) dying after having your spinal cord severed in the back of a police van
14) dying in a jail cell after being arrested for failing to signal a lane change
15) being shot in the head after being pulled over for lacking a front license plate
Shall I continue?
These types of things are nothing new or surprising to African-Americans, or to the majority of whites. Yeah, you all can feign shock and outrage all you want, but you’ve known all along. And you know how we know you’ve known? We know because the cancer has been left untreated and like a malignant tumor has spread leaving scores of African-American bodies in its wake. You’ve cultivated and nurtured this cancer in your homes, in your schools, in policy and in the media. The difference now is that technology has created citizen journalists who for reasons of viral fame or whatever, record, posts and blast this cancer on social media for all the world to see. Even so, video provides no guarantee that justice will prevail –for example the cases of Eric Garner and Rodney King.
As for questions three and four, “What are some of the preventive measures to avoid becoming a victim and what treatment is available?” Unless we can figure out a way to stop being African-American, I don’t see a viable solution other than prayer… AND PRAY, WE MUST!
If this were paper upon which I write, my tears would wet the page and so alas I stain my keyboard. I cry… no I weep - not so much because I hurt, but more so, because I despair of the fact that we digress and remove ourselves ever so farther away from the love and the unity we claim we seek.
I weep for the first African drawn and quartered in America - made an example to break the resistance of other slaves.
I weep for the countless lives lost in the name of misplaced delusions of grandeur.
I weep for Emmet Till.
I weep for the four little girls of Birmingham.
I weep for those hanged as strange fruit.
I weep for those that weep in solitude abandoned and alone in their jail cells.
I weep for the IRP6 and the Newburgh Four. I weep for the orphaned families.
I weep for those who have yet to know weeping. But mostly I weep for those whose weeping will be accompanied by the gnashing of teeth.
Written by Jay Arrington, Staff Writer for the Maryland Daily Examiner
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