After The Sean Bell Verdict: Now What?

seanbellThe verdict was delivered. The media reported. And now, it’s back to the Rev. Wright and his “shocking comments”, something that I will comment on another day if I care to.

So, what do I do? I was quiet. Other than a post promoting Estelle’s first video and my thoughts on why Obama should be silent on the issue of Sean Bell, I didn’t say how I felt about this other than “I’m not surprised by the verdict.”

You know, I wanted to let it soak for a while. And I thought to myself “how can I make sure that this doesn’t get pass NYPD or the history books?” However, I’m only one guy and I’m not the greatest speaker, nor am I anywhere near the most charismatic.  So, while I thought to myself, I was assigned to go to a Meetup. Not sure what type of a meeting, but I know it was related to the very case. It wasn’t no small meetup either. Not by a long shot…

It was an emergency meeting sponsored by Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network. Along him was Bell’s finance, Nicole Paultre Bell. It was at the midtown office of Local 1199, a hospital union. For about two hours, I heard a bit of everything: problems, solutions and preaching (by people) with Sharpton mediating the meeting. After a while, they decided to break into committees. They were:

  • Boycotting Committee
  • Outreach
  • Marching Committee
  • And The Civil Disobedience Committee aka  the “going-to-jail” committee (Al Sharpton’s humor, not mine)

I met Garveyites, New Black Panthers, church leaders and community supporters. I even met Davey D, my favorite thought remixer, in the flesh! It was interesting to see so much unity. However, is it enough? There’s seem to be something missing in this whole equation. What I think is missing?

Simply put… I don’t know. But I’m willing to take a guess. And that’s education.

Boycotting and support black businesses? Good idea. Having an outreach program? Better. Marching for pro-justice? Outstanding. Civil Disobedience? Well, that’s a matter of personal opinion.  But I have to ask a stupid question:

Why are we doing this again?

Nope. That’s the question. Seriously.

Think about it. Did you ever thought how many people are going to say “yes, boycotting sounds good, but I’m only one person…”? Or “why are we doing this? How is this effective?” Do you really wanna know who’s going to ask these questions?

How about the 75% of the US Black Population under 30?

There’s hardly any strong black activist these days. We have a lot of ways to search up information, but not everyone is going to want to do this. In order for this to work, there’s have to be a united front. But in order to have a united front, we need to educate others. And I’m pretty sure some of us have forgotten Hurricane Katrina.

Due to my personal situations, I can’t commit to a committee. However, I’m willing to commit to one thing… and that’s education. People need to be inform about why we have to do this and show them account after account after account of injustice. Not just Sean Bell, but all the cases leading to Sean Bell. So, I’m going to ponder a way that I can provide this education. I know I can provide it via and activate the community here, but there’s have to be more ways. I’m willing to look into this…

… because I need to do more than wear black to remember Sean Bell. I need to do more than boycott. I need to do more than depend on a Presidential Candidate…

… and ALL OF YOU should feel the need too.

Update 4/30/08: Added Davey D link and corrected some grammar errors.

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