Local News

‘Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That Marching Is Passé’

A few notes on Saturday's March Against Police Brutality.

• Saturday’s march — organized by Mothers Against Police Brutality and Faith Forward Dallas, among others — began at St. Paul UMC in the Design District and wound about a mile through Uptown, before ending at Pike Park.

• Or the park formerly known as Pike Park: as the Rev. Dr. Michael Waters said once the marchers arrived, “We’re taking the park back today.” Activist John Fullinwider — who said the quote in the headline of this post — rededicated it  as Santos Rodriguez Park, named for the 12-year-old boy killed by Dallas police officer Darrell Cain in 1973, not far away from there. The rededication was unofficial, but I don’t seen any reason why the city shouldn’t make it permanent.

• It was the morning after Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted in the killing of Philando Castile and the second anniversary of the shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church. But timing-wise, the more important date was Father’s Day. “This Father’s Day is really hard for me,”said Odell Edwards, the father of Jordan Edwards, the unarmed 15-year-old killed by Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver on April 29. “Every time I look at my kids and my family, I see the hurt in their eyes and I try to be strong for them.” He said he can’t sleep.

• When Odell Edwards said Jordan was gone, someone in the crowd, trying to be supportive, yelled back “Jordan is here,” and Odell kind of cringed, accepting it, getting what they were saying — in spirit, yes, we won’t forget him — but not meaning it that way. He said it again and someone else on the other side of the crowd yelled it again, so he moved on.

I get the sentiment, and it’s important that we remember that Jordan was all of our sons, yes, and that we say his name, do not forget him, never let his presence leave. But in the realest sense — honestly, in the only one that matters — Jordan is not here. Roy Oliver took that from Odell and his wife, Charmaine, and their sons, and everyone who loved Jordan. He is not here. That is the point. Odell and Charmaine were robbed of seeing what kind of man Jordan would be, of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, of a lifetime of memories.

• Collette Flanagan, one of the founders of Mothers Against Police Brutality, said much the same earlier, saying when her son, Clinton Allen, was shot seven times and killed by DPD officer Clark Staller in 2013, Staller had wiped out three generations. And she pointed out what happened to her family could happen to anyone: “Clinton lived on a golf course. I worked at IBM.”

• “We have marched in this heat, because we are going to put the heat” on anyone who stands in the way, said Pastor Freddy Haynes of Friendship-West Baptist.”We refuse to be your bull’s-eyes.”

• Imam Omar Suleiman said that America has come a long way but “we’ve regressed”: “Jordan Edwards wasn’t killed in the 1960s. Clinton Allen wasn’t killed in the 1960s. Philando Castile wasn’t killed in the 1960s. Alton Sterling wasn’t killed in the 1960s. Sandra Bland wasn’t killed in the 1960s.”

• Waters, who led the proceedings and was great as always, says the key to this movement is intersectionality. “You can google it,” he told the crowd. That no one has justice until everyone has justice — “Justice for all, not justice for y’all,” as Haynes put it earlier. And, in that spirit, it was heartening to see member of other movements — Planned Parenthood, those fighting against SB4 and Islamophobia — to stand with Mothers Against Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter.

•  Sarah Mokuria, another found of Mothers Against Police Brutality: “This is just a moment. We need to be here all the time.”


 

Comments

  • Marching IS passe. All the cool kids are shooting cops and Republican congressmen.

    • Mavdog

      You left out stabbing good samaritans on trains and shooting at people in church.