Last week we had two captivating incidents happen in America. The one we all know about is Lebron James’ “The Decision” press conference where Lebron went forth and sh—-ed on the city Cleveland on national TV. I was also like many Chicago fans somewhat jaded that he didn’t become a Chicago Bull but not as much as Cleveland Cavaliers fans. I’m not going to get into all of that in this post. I want to talk about the other incident and why is it that many people do not know about this occurrence. During this occurrence many of you(myself included) was watching Lebron saying he was going to go play for the Miami Heat as the verdict for the murder of Oscar Grant was being handed down.
Who is Oscar Grant?
Oscar Grant is a young African-American killed by BART officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California, in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009. Responding to reports of a fight on a crowded Bay Area Rapid Transit train returning from San Francisco. BART Police officers detained Oscar Grant and several other passengers on the platform at the Fruitvale BART Station. Officer Johannes Mehserle and another officer were restraining Grant, who was prostrate and allegedly resisting arrest.Officer Mehserle stood, drew his gun and shot Grant once in the back. During his court testimony, Mehserle said that Grant then exclaimed, “You shot me!”. Grant was pronounced dead the next morning at Highland Hospital in Oakland. The events were captured on multiple digital video and cell phone cameras. The footage was disseminated to media outlets and to various websites, where it was watched hundreds of thousands of times(source)
The Oscar Grant trial was very important in terms that it was the very first police officer to be charged with murder in the state of California and also the first officer to be charged with murder in the nation in over 30 years. Oscar Grants killer, Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on Thursday evening. Oscar Grant’s trial has had Oakland in an uproar and why don’t we know about this? Ohhh yeah that’s right!! Lebron is making his “decision”.
I am not writing this to discuss the case’s verdict( I will say that I wholeheartedly disagree with the verdict and say he at least should have gotten manslaughter) but more of our awareness of this case even going on. Checkout this good post on Oscar Grant here.
I sat at Hooters to watch Lebron’s “The Decision”( which I know I have continuously was one of the biggest wastes of time but I can’t front made for must see TV) and I was constantly BBM, texting, and twittering about the Lebron situation but not too much about Oscar Grant. Over the next few days I saw a bombardment about Lebron but once again very few dialogues about the trial. Lebron was definitely more of a newsworthy incident than Oscar Grant because of the sensationalism of it but, I saw few articles, blogs, or statements about the trial. You know what I did see a lot of posts and comments about how black men/black women aren’t shit or people up and arms about Chad “OchcoCinco” Johnson and his white women. I had a debate with someone who was trying to say Muhammad Ali’s braggadociousness was equal to Lebron’s “The Decision” press conference. Really? Ali and Lebron should not even be talked about in the same breath. Ali used his bravado not only for his ego but also to start social change. What did Lebron’s “The Decision” do? Or what social change has Lebron really effected? And do not give me the bs about the Boys and Girls Club either? (I am not saying Lebron may not give to charity or mentor just saying to compare him to Ali is crazy) Do we really in this society not able to know the difference between this two sports figures?
I understand that sports and entertainment are a way for us to escape from the mundane, hard stricken, and disappointments of life. I am admittedly a sports junkie and know I have done some crazy things in my sports fandom(i.e. driving 5 hours at the last-minute to K-State for a football game) but where does the game begin and end? What I mean by this is how far do we allow sports and entertainment to engulf our lives that we do not even know about the changing world around us. I am not arguing that people should have necessarily protested or been up in arms about the Oscar Grant trial because that is a personal opinion. But to not even know about the case is more of a travesty in itself.
I just wonder how much more will sports and entertainment continually cloud our vision of what’s going on around us? I am cool with us being entertained and the world doesn’t have to always be so serious but I ask: When do we get serious then? When do we quit wanting to live in fantasy dreams and look at the real world around us? When will we take notice of the things that will affect our lives in the future instead of worrying about the white girls Chad Ochocinco picks for a dating show or how big Amber Rose ass is?…But, I aint gonna front I have looked that up before though…smh!
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- Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin and the protection of ‘police murder’ in white America (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
- Where Was This Outrage When Oscar Grant Was Killed? (bothwell.typepad.com)
- Oscar Grant march marks 3rd anniversary of killing (sfgate.com)
- The Devaluation Of Black Life (racialicious.com)