Not another one

April 29, 2021

The shooting in Columbus, OH of an African American teen has once again put African American people on alert. Ma’Khia Bryant was shot by a police officer during an altercation with another woman. Of course there was a lot of debate about whether the shooting was justified. In reality, justified or not, Bryant is dead and many are angered by this act. I watched the video and have to ask, “Why did the arrival of the police seem to spark the violence?”

If you have seen the footage from the events that took place in Columbus on April 20, 2021 you observed a tragedy. The tragedy is on two fronts.On one front you have a young lady blasted into the hereafter. On the other front you have a police officer, Nick Reardon, who has to make a snap decision on what action to take to save a life. The whole scene was one that probably could have been avoided. Was Bryant wrong for defending herself? Was Reardon over-anxious in drawing his weapon? I’ll let the big-time pundits answer this. My question is, “Why did the arrival of the police spark the violence instead of stopping it?”

There has always been an unwritten rule that when the police show up, chill out. For some reason on this tragic day in Columbus, the police arrival seemed to escalate the violence. I’m sure there was some heated verbal banter going on between the people on the scene. I’m sure tempers were probably flaring high and all that was needed was a spark. The arrival of the police should have been the water dousing the flame. Yet, it seemed as if when the police arrived the stomping and punching started up. What is going on in the African American community?

African American people, when the police arrive for any reason, stop doing what you are doing. No matter how much fun or satisfaction you are seeking, it is time to leave or be quiet. Anger in the African American community is nothing new. I understand being mad more than any other person I know. Yet, even in a rage I understand that when the police come I need to calm down or face consequences. This leads me to another puzzling question, “Why didn’t some of those bystanders do something to squash the altercation?”

If you watch the video there are people on the side watching the verbal argument. What were these people thinking as they watched the interactions? I understand that many people do not want to be dragged in other people’s business. When the police show up in the African American community the situation becomes everyone’s business. With this in mind you have to ask, “Why did these people not stop this when they saw the police pulling up?” When the police came someone should have said, “Look. Cut this off and calm down. The police are here and no one wants to die.” Words like this spoken in a serious voice can bring the most enraged person down to earth.

African Americans, it’s time to see the world as it is and not through Snow White’s eyes. The only resource African Americans have is each other. The repetitive black-on-black violence has caused a fractured psyche in African Americans. The only way to heal the psychological damage done to African American is for them to embrace and respect each other. African Americans need to stick up for each other and also keep each other in check. If African Americans do not learn to keep each other in check, someone else will.

This is what is happening in the USA today. Think, African Americans.

Frank James IV © 2021

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. “Being Frank” is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.