Our terminology in the era of #TheNewJimCrow is all wrong | #BlackLivesMatter on Blog#42

What do the crimes of Ray Tensing, Michael Slager, Brian Encinia and Dylann Roof all have in common? None are being called by their rightful name: racial terror, white supremacy, and lynching. While lynching exists in our laws, the other two do not, as charges a prosecutor can make in a court of law.  Yet, over and over, throughout our history, Black men, Black women, Native Americans, people of Mexican descent, Asians, and even Jews were lynched.

In 2015, as we talk about mass-incarceration, racial profiling, and police brutality, we use terms that are far milder than the despicable acts they intend to describe. Ever since the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin, our daily news have been filled with new names; the names of newly killed Black American men and women. Occasionally, we’ve had our attention drawn to other kinds of victims, like Kelly Thomas, a white, homeless schizophrenic man who was beaten to death by Fullerton, California police officers who, eventually, were found not guilty by a jury.

But the majority of the killings we hear about and see on video are of Black victims of what I can only think of in terms of lynching. Lynchings, in the era of the New Jim Crow, are no longer done by hanging from a tree branch. The “Strange Fruit” are the bullet riddled, electroshock wracked bodies we see on our TV screens, as we saw in Natasha McKenna’s case in my former home county of Fairfax, Virginia.

Every few weeks, we move on to the new outrage and our memories of the terrible losses to families like the Martins, Garners, Browns, Browders, and so many others, just fade away, and we keep calling each new horror a killing or shooting. We are inured to the words killing and shooting. They’ve been in the American consciousness and lexicon from the very beginning.

When we use such terms, we lose the historical significance of these acts that keep getting repeated, day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out. One more death. BlackLivesMatter Each new slogan we learn, raises our consciousness a little higher, for a time, and then we are inured again.

After the massacre in Charleston, FBI Director Comey doubted the crime rose to terrorism. I agreed with him because in my mind, I could not equate what Roof did to what the Irish and Basque terrorist groups used to do in Europe. White supremacist racist hate, the physical expression of it, is different.

We need to begin calling these crimes by their rightful names, and prosecuting them using charges that accurately reflect the nature of the crimes perpetrated. Lynching. Race terrorist. Those are names that tell us what we need to know about the underlying reason for the crime. The kind of hate underlying supremacist behavior is unique. It needs to be recognized, called out, and punishment meted out accordingly.

We need to use the right words. They need to be accurate words. They need to be strong words; the kinds of words that help us keep our resolve to stamp out the behaviors that keep them in use.


Ray Tensing: Fired UC officer pays bond, freed from county jail – Story

CINCINNATI – Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing has bonded out of jail.

He posted 10 percent of his $1 million bond, according to the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts website.

Maj. Charmaine McGuffey, of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, said Tensing left the jail at about 6:45 p.m. He’d been under suicide watch during his time behind bars, she said.

People from all over the country offered to help pay the $1 million bond, Tensing’s attorney said Thursday.

Tensing pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday morning after he was indicted Wednesday for the shooting death of 43-year-old Sam DuBose. Body camera video shows Tensing shoot DuBose in the head during a July 19 traffic stop in Mount Auburn.

Tensing had to make a mandatory $100,000 surety payment – 10 percent of his $1 million bond – to secure his release until trial.

“Ever since the bond was set, I’ve received calls from around the country from people wanting to contribute to it,” attorney Stew Mathews said. “I think people feel like he’s getting railroaded here in Cincinnati. You’d have to be blind not to see that.”

Read the rest of this article on Ray Tensing: Fired UC officer pays bond, freed from county jail – Story


Officers at Sam DuBose scene involved in death of another unarmed black man

Two police officers who corroborated a seemingly false account of the fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati were previously implicated in the death of an unarmed, hospitalised and mentally ill black man who died after he was “rushed” by a group of seven University of Cincinnati police officers.

Kelly Brinson, a 45-year-old mental health patient at Cincinnati’s University hospital, suffered a psychotic episode on 20 January 2010 and was placed inside a seclusion room at the hospital by UC officers. He was then shocked with a Taser three times by an officer and placed in restraints. The father of one – son Kelly Jr – then suffered a respiratory cardiac arrest and died three days later.

In court documents obtained by the Guardian and filed by Brinson’s family in a civil suit against UC police and the hospital, all seven officers are accused of using excessive force and “acted with deliberate indifference to the serious medical and security needs of Mr Brinson”.

According to the lawsuit, before Brinson was placed in restraints he “repeatedly yelled that slavery was over and he repeatedly pleaded not to be shackled and not to be treated like a slave”.

Five years before University of Cincinnati officers Eric Weibel and Phillip Kidd corroborated the seemingly false account of an officer now charged with murder, they helped as Kelly Brinson was shocked and shackled