BY JEANETTE LENOIR
My son didn’t understand why I said it was a lonely feeling grasping the tragic reality of Breonna Taylor. I explained that beyond the hurt and betrayal cruelly delivered as a just outcome in seeking accountability from the officers who violated her human rights, was the face of the Black man, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, handing down the bitterly slanted and backstabbing grand jury decision. I’m surprised he didn’t shout out, “white power!” at the end of his sell-out performance for his caretaker, the despicable and treasonous Mitch McConnell.
“They put your mind right in a bag and take it wherever they want.” — Malcolm X
Taylor’s executioners, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were absolved of any guilt by a man whose family tree—despite his buffoonery and attempts to distance himself from it—flowed down the same bloody river familiar to all Black people before taking root in America. And yet, Cameron saw fit to uphold the racist system that continues to devalue Black lives. I wonder what stares back at him when he stands in front of a mirror… I doubt it’s human, let alone a proud Black man.
“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. 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 systems of exploitation.” — Malcolm X
Cameron, knowing the state of Black America, stood up to defend the police who failed the basic requirements of their job—making sure the person they’re looking for is not already in jail—and justified Taylor’s murder. Compounding his cultural abandonment and shameful betrayal, he pushed the knife in deeper by only charging the since fired police officer, Brett Hankison, whose bullet missed Taylor. Let that sink in.
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” — Malcolm X
As a Black woman fully aware of my assigned place and status in American society, this display of buffoonery and disloyalty reached beyond the place of hurt and settled in a deep despair and loneliness. Black women, separate from the collective Black experience, are abandoned on an island of their own. Adding to this despair and loneliness is that some prominent Black men, Shaquille O’Neil and Charles Barkley, joined the anti-Black woman ban wagon with commentary defending the police … It’s unconscionable. What a sunken place we found ourselves in.
“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” — Malcolm X
The saying, “Not all skin folk is kin folk” never reigned truer for Cameron who stands on top of that symbolic hill waiving a rebel flag. I’m sure he and Candace Owens have enshrined the confederate flag as their solidarity with the KKK and Proud Boys. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cameron is feverishly working to support efforts to dismiss the charges against Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Caucasian who was driven by his mother from Illinois to Wisconsin to engage in combat with BLM protesters and killing two people. Like Dylan Roof, he was handled with white gloves, even getting a standing ovation from Wisconsin Republican lawmakers … for killing two people protesting for humanity and change.
“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.” — Malcolm X
The illegal no-knock warrant issued by a judge to go into Taylor’s home without just cause is part of the crime of being Black in America. In this country judges can rubber stamp the paperwork needed to carry out our murders thanks to the Castle doctrine. And because they see our Black bodies as disposable, they simply deal with the consequences of their actions—right or wrong—later. The police and our justice system have an out. A get out of jail free card for violating our basic human rights. This isn’t new. It’s designed to work as it always has. Cameron knows this. He knows the system that uses our Black bodies as battering ramps and yet he stood in place of a hooded Klansman singing Dixie and speaking legalese to protect the men who stole his mind, spirit, culture and dignity. He stood in defense of those who continue to benefit from our brutality and second-class citizenship in a country built under the cracks of whips by his ancestors.
“A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.” — Malcolm X
Breonna Taylor was shot 8 times while she lay sleeping in her bed. She was a 26-year-old EMT, an essential worker during a pandemic. A judge cleared the way for her execution as part of the larger operation targeting stereotyped poor and Black people. This is how our legal system continues to devalue Black lives. And, as if the cultural symbolism doesn’t matter, they usher out a Black man to dig the hole they’ve put us in a little deeper. This country and its system of governance doesn’t care about us. This reckoning has to take root in our psyche. Voting, our 21st century revolution, is the only way out of this hole we’ve been in for 400 hundred years. There are roughly 3 million voters in Kentucky. 48 percent are democrats. Unfortunately, 1.6 million of them are nonvoting democrats, making it possible for the likes of Cameron to take elected office alongside the henchmen of Black terrorizers.
“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” — Malcolm X
Malcom X once asked: Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? To most Black folks the answer is clear and historical. But to Cameron, perched with the plantation mindset of a house Negro, undoubtedly will point his finger at his own Black family tree, as he proudly and shamelessly fondles the blond locks of his caretaker’s daughter.
“When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire . . . or preserve his freedom.” — Malcolm X
History is cyclical. Our brutality is too.