“What About Oscar????” Designed By J Farand
So, after the verdict in the trial of Johannes Mehserle for the death of Oscar Grant, it seems that many of us have forgotten what this was all about.
From the perspective of a black man, yes, Oscar Grant was killed. Objectively, Oscar, a young black male was shot by a police officer in the back while Oscar was handcuffed with his hands. Oscar Grant, whose iconic image is a photo manipulation of a picture that was taken while he is holding his child. So that would add father to the list of qualifying adjectives used to describe the slain man. Unfortunately, we are hearing and reading less and less about Oscar Grant, and who he was. Instead, many have decided to focus their attention on the “outrage” and the “looting” of a footlocker that became the focal point of the reports of reaction to the verdict.
Hopefully, my death would not be by murder. And even more so, not a murder at the hands of a police officer who claims he mistook the weight of a loaded nine millimeter pistol for that of a stun gun. However, in that event, I would hope for justice. Justice not only for my family and loved ones, but also for those that will never get to hear me laugh, see me smile, or read my sarcastic analysis. I would hope that in a country that demands an eye for an eye in every situation of foreign attack, that I could possible have such. Even as a humble and forgiving man, I believe that I am peaceful enough of a person to ask that society respect itself enough to eliminate the possibility of my killer walking around to commit the same sort of atrocity. In the case that retribution couldn’t be had, I would at least want people to remember me.
Justice for Oscar, should have emphasis on OSCAR. In the event of the above described malady, I would hope that when the question arose, “Who is Jay Farand?”, that the answer could be more than just another black man killed by law men. Sure, I would want the intellectual minds that have never met me to analyze and deduce the proper position they should hold. Sure, I would want those that rally the people to action to use certain propaganda tactics and sensationalism as they deem necessary. But, most of all, I’d like people to get to know me.
Get to know my aspirations that would never be realized.
Realize that I too was once a human.
A human that enjoyed my cognac smooth and cold, and often after a dish of tempura dragon rolls.
Maybe the reason it is so easy for us to forget the degree of caution a police officer should have is because we have forgotten how much we are similar. How about I bet Oscar liked watching some of the same movies and listened to some of the same music as anyone reading these words. How can we hold anyone responsible in a correct manner, if we have become so distant from one another. We have almost stopped caring. Stopped feeling.
And maybe that is why it is so easy for some of us to be objective and cold. And I understand the need for cold analysis. But I bet nobody had to use cold logic when Mehserle needed 3 million dollars for his bond. I understand that this internet, this connection of wires to networks of machines and more wires, that allows to connect to this virtual world of avatars called the web, or the interweb, can make us feel like we are really socializing and actually being connected. But how often can we just debate with words on the screen, and forget that there is another heart beating on the other end of that packet of data you just transferred?
I wouldn’t want to be relegated to someone’s critique of my slaying. I understand how difficult it can be at times to be empathetic. I understand in a climate where our humanness is boxed into a group of standards that it can be hard to remember to be humane. I know how much work it can take to see my worth without basing that on my economic class, where I went to school, who I went to school with, and what type of car I drive. I know it can be difficult to act in a humane manner, but maybe this is the time to try.
And I’m not only talking to you…I’m actually moreso talking to myself…
I’ve seen the images of Oakland, and I understand the need to present information…
…but what about Oscar Grant?