There have been a lot of people who would say that much of our society is apathetic to the things going on in the world. There was a time where people would recognize the world around them and understand the significance. It seems today that we seem to be apathetic when it comes to life in itself. When did we stop caring about what happens in the world around us besides Housewives of Atlanta, Lil Wayne’s release from jail, and T.I.’s impending incarceration? Insert the Oscar Grant and 2010 elections. Many people in the community to paraphrase Ice Cube as Doughboy in Boyz in the Hood, “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care…”
The 2010 Election was a very important election (like any election is local, state, or federal) and their seemed to be an apathetic nature to the voting process. There was a rumor going around proclaiming that only 4.8% of African-Americans voted in this election. I am not going to debate on if this was factual or not BUT I will say that I didn’t know many people who voted in this election. For instance, I went to my polling place around 5PM (prime time for voter turnout) and there was barely anyone there. There were more people in line at KFC looking to try their new chicken sandwich than it was at the polls.
There is no denying that President Barack Obama inspired many African-Americans come out and vote in the 2008 election. I mean we even had a parties, T-shirt lines, hats, and concerts about it. But, where were these people at the polls in 2010? Barack was on TV looking like the Cleveland Cavaliers when they lost Lebron James to the Miami Heat. How can you believe in President Obama’s idea of change when you can’t change yourself enough to simply go vote?
This apathy is just not to those who supported Barack Obama but towards the whole political process as a whole. It doesn’t matter who you are voting for Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Green Party. It is your responsibility and right to be an educated voter. Many people really do take for granted that many of us are only the 2nd generation of people who have not had to fight for their right to vote. Think about how many people put their lives on the line and would stand in line for hours to vote for City Councilman. And to think some of us can’t even take 20 mins. away from playing NBA 2k10 or The Housewives of Atlanta to cast a vote in a federal election. This will be the same folks who will say nothing is changing in their neighborhood but they can’t even be a simple apart of change by voting.
The apathy in our community continued to display itself within the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle’s for the MURDER of Oscar Grant. If you have no idea who Oscar Grant is you can check out my earlier post “Oscar Grant…Who? Please, Change the Channel Back to Lebron?” But, Friday they had the sentencing of Mesherle and where there was a possibility that he could get the maximum of 14 years in prison for the “involuntary manslaughter” death of Grant. The judge decided to give Mehserle 2 years in prison with time served which basically means he will be getting on in some months.
2 years! Really? Mike Vick got more time for fighting dogs. Even funnier is the idea that New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress got more time in the pokey for SHOOTING HIMSELF IN THE LEG! The idea that a black man’s life is not the same worth as a dog is inconceivable in any nature. The deaths of Sean Bell (to learn more see here) and Oscar Grant are things that should really spark a nerve in our community for the brazen negligence of some policeman for a black man’s life. You would think people would be taking notice to these incidents right….
But, Lil Wayne is getting out of jail…Free Weezy right?
How can we not be against this kind of injustice and have so much apathy to this situation? It is foolish to believe that people just simply need to go out and picket but not bringing the idea into your consciousness just like saying the thing never happen. Some may say, “Why should they even care about a guy named Oscar Grant? He aint no kin folk of mine.”
What if Oscar Grant was our father, brother, husband, uncle, nephew, or cousin? There is a quote from the Dr. Martin Luther King that expounds on this…”An injustice anywhere. Is an injustice everywhere.”
How can we can so much more about how we feel bad for T.I. going back to the clink but we don’t outwardly question or dialogue about the death of Oscar Grant? I wonder if we are allowing society to play a Jedi Mind Trick by having many of these entertainment sources not only for entertainment but take our mind of the real issues affecting our lives. Chris Rock comically interjects n his comedy special Never Scared this sentiment…”All the stuff goin’ on in the news, it’s just a trick to get your mind off the war. That’s all it is. A trick to get your mind off the war. Okay?”
There is nothing wrong with getting our entertainment but we have to understand that life is more than just Partying and Bullshitting….
- Where Was This Outrage When Oscar Grant Was Killed? (bothwell.typepad.com)
- Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin and the protection of ‘police murder’ in white America (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
- Dear Hip Hop,…Will You Speak Out for Trayvon? (ashy2classy.net)
- Why I Won’t Wear a Hoodie Reason #4,080: My Fear of Being Shot by Geraldo Rivera (rippdemup.com)
- The Devaluation Of Black Life (racialicious.com)
- I Pledge Allegiance to Which Party?? (ashy2classy.net)
- Family Of Charles Hill Sues BART, And They’ve Got Oscar Grant’s Attorney (sfist.com)
- Oakland Cop Shoots Oscar Grant’s Cousin (sfist.com)