Some pro-justice activists on the Left wonder with all the racism, injustice, cruelty and fascism coming out of the White House why more people are not in the street demanding change.
The country’s resistance to fear and hate often starts slow but as more people become aware of the Trump administration’s moral rot and racist policies it gains strength and on Sunday, August 18, the resistance to racism took another step.
During one of the hottest days in Georgia with the temperature reaching 95 degrees, over 250 people marched from North Avenue MARTA station up and down steep hills to the Historic Fourth Ward Park.
‘There is a movement rising up that says we are not going to take it anymore and we are not scared. Let my people go,” Rev. Billy Honor, New Georgia Project and End Mass incarceration Movement, declared.
When Rev. Honor said “Let my people go” he is talking about the mass incarceration of mostly Black and Brown men which is at its core is racism.
Rev. Honor explains that racism has reinvented itself and found ways to criminalize people, to cage and punish people for petty violations in the name of being tough on crime. “There are too many people in prisons who could have been put on a path of restorative justice,” Rev. Honor said.
Too many people are in prison because they are poor or the wrong color, homeless, mentally ill or have an addiction problem. These are people who need social services to give them a hand up, not locked up in a prison that kicks them down.
“Racism is putting in place a system of white supremacy that privileges some over and above others,” Rev. Honor said and urged people to rise up and “declare that it is an injustice to say that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave when in fact we are the incarceration capital of the world.”
Normando “Dre” Love, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Atlanta, told the crowd that he was almost one of those young Black men whose life was sacrificed to the mass incarceration industry.
The police accused Dre of armed robbery but that was a lie. If not for his mother and community members who knew he was innocent and raised money for a lawyer his life, like so many other Black lives, could have been destroyed by the for-profit mass incarceration industry that enslaves Black men like the Southern plantations of years ago.
“I took the plea deal of four years on probation because I know the justice system will fail me and I will be in prison for 15 years for something I did not do,” Dre said.
U.S. House of Representative, Hank Johnson, from Georgia’s 4th District in DeKalb County, called Trump a racist and explained that when Trump says to his base “Make America Great Again” that is code for make America hate again so we can throw out all the brown immigrants and make America white again.
Steven Miller, the architect of Trump’s racist and cruel immigration policies, created policies to hurt and scare poor brown immigrants from coming to the U.S. The Trump administration has said that they want rich, white Europeans immigrants. Trump’s base fears too many black and brown people will disrupt their white majority and their power.
Patty Garrett spoke for Moms of Black Boys (MOBB) United and MOBB United for Social Justice. These two organizations are dedicated to ensuring that Black boys and men are perceived in a positive light and treated fairly and equitably by law enforcement.
Their goal is to influence policy at all levels of government and on ending harassment and unwarranted use of deadly force by law enforcement when encountering Black boys and men.
Garrett named 33 Black boys and men who have been killed by police since 2016. She said that “three out of five Blacks killed by police were shot in the back or were unarmed and one out of five had signs of mental illness.”
The most outrageous and under-reported case was Jamarion Robinson who was shot 59 times by a federal task force on August 5, 2016. To date, District Attorney, Paul Howard, has yet to bring charges against these officers.
Attorney, Gerald Griggs, Second Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Atlanta chapter added to the information and quoted Martin Luther King who once said, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“There are 44 open cases in Georgia and 20 in Atlanta for individuals who have been killed by law enforcement. Atlanta has a police brutality problem. Gun violence is also a police violence problem, Griggs said.
“We have to end this in 2020. We must elect people who will respond to the people and hold this white supremacist in the White House accountable and the white supremacist that lives on West Paces Ferry accountable too,” Gregg said.
This Anti-Racism March was supported by 37 organizations.