A now a word from the governor of Ohio after the acquittal of an officer for the alleged state- sanctioned killings in the city of Cleveland.
"The court has spoken and we must respect its decision. Everyone must have the right for their response to be heard––including when they are angry and hurt––and voicing that frustration in a peaceful way helps us all rise above those forces that would hold us back and tear us down. In Ohio we are working hard to rebuild strong communities where every voice is heard and respected––and we’re making progress, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. Our statewide initiative to improve the way that communities and police work together, with better training, oversight and cooperation, is a model for the country, but we must stay at it. Even in the middle of the strong feelings many have today we can’t lose sight of how Ohio has begun to successfully come together. We are one Cleveland and one Ohio and, with God’s help, together we will keep building for ourselves and our children the kind of world that we all deserve."
Yes, we must respect the court and the rule of law. As we must respect the right of every citizen to protest and exercise their First Amendment rights.
But what we must not allow is a hypocritical politician to make a mockery of the process itself and treat the rest of us as if we have no sense.
Nothing about what is happening in Cleveland, Ohio is a "model for the country". The killing of young Tamir Rice proves that.
Well written press releases will not make the pain and anger of generational poverty and injustice go away. It will not cure the hearts of bigots who only want to wear a uniform to live out some power-trip and take part in self-aggrandizing actions.
Cleveland might win their first professional championship in fifty years. I am sure that the last thing that the powers that be in that town want is a riot to spoil the parade.
"LeBron James urged the city of Cleveland to remain calm and channel its energy into the Cavaliers' playoff run in the aftermath of a judge's decision to acquit a police officer of manslaughter in a 2012 shooting which led to the death of two African-Americans.
"For the city of Cleveland, let's use our excitement or whatever passion that we have for our sport tomorrow, for the game tomorrow night, bring it tomorrow night ... our team we'll try to do our best to give it back to them," James said following the Cavaliers' light workout today."
I love LeBron, but jump shots can't cure injustice, and just "channeling its energy" into a basketball team will not change bad policing policies.
I understand this kind of rhetoric coming from the governor. He is, after all, a politician. But I think it would have been best if the star of the Cleveland basketball team had said nothing at all.