Sean Bell: The Newest N****r.

Not Guilty. It stings. It really does. Set against the backdrop of a Black man being a viable Presidential candidate. Set against a rapper releasing an album entitled N****r. Set against Flavor Flav getting a mantan show on network television. This really stings. It’s very lonely being a n****r.

Acquitted. “Exhonerated.” You get tired of the crying racism and injustice. It’s very fatiguing. What is the value of Black life? Two daughters with no father; a woman with no husband. A mother and father who had to lay their son in a box. A city with no justice. Policemen acquitted of charges of reckless endangerment and second degree manslaughter. It’s very lonely being a n****r.

One man dead. One hit 16 times. Another hit multiple times. A combat reload (31 shots coming from Officer Michael Oliver). A stray bullet hitting a subway terminal blocks away thankfully missing bystanders. When does it change? It’s very lonely being a n****r

We say no justice, no peace, but the rule of law has very little to do with justice. It’s codified. It’s statutory. It’s black and white. Very appropriate when you consider the apparent difference in protection under the law.

We make progress. We go further into the house. We embrace America. When does it change? There is no race card. Card implies a game. Card implies that you can play again. But it’s increasingly evident that when police are involved with young poor people and colored people, there is no second chance.

It’s very hard not to call for heads to roll. It really is. As a Black man, and as someone with range to be heard, it’s very difficult to not call for smoke in the city. There are many factors in this decision and at the heart are the charges themselves. Thankfully Al did the right thing and didn’t fan any flames. In this economic environment Black business can’t afford any riots.

The charges in this case levied against the officers were charges related to intent. You’ll never get a conviction on police intent because they don’t go out into the field to kill people. This trial was doomed from the start because the premise was wrong. Had charges more related to recklessness and negligence been proffered rather than ones of intent, the all or nothing scenario of guilt or innocence may be more tenable to deal with by the judge in charge of making a ruling.

The witnesses’ testimonies, to be fair, were inconsistent. They were victims. But they chose to embellish on the stand and not keep their stories consistent. In order to deliver a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt, you have to consider the presence of inconsistency, specifically that of eye witness testimony.

I can imagine that witness prep, and an attempt to overly embellish what was already a compelling narrative, along with the presence of evidence of a $10,000 loan from Al Sharpton to Trent Benefield, made public during testimony certainly had an influence in undermining the credibility of the witnesses’ testimony.

The issue is not the verdict. Under the rule of law, with what was heard as evidence, and with the charges levied, the verdict was predictable. The issue is the ease and frequency of these events and why the police can continue to take Black life.

At the heart of this recklessness, you have a mentality rooted in racism, prejudice, and fear driven societal paradigms. Ask yourself when was the last time a white man was fired on that many times by police. Ask yourself when was the last time a white man was fired on by the police period. The most recent of those cases, in New York anyway, was a rampaging gunman who killed two unarmed auxiliary policemen outside a pizzeria near Houston Street. In order for a white male to be fired on by the police, you need a reenactment from “The Terminator.”

Eleanor Bumpers. Patrick Dourisman. Amadou Diallo. Welcome to your newest n****r, Sean Bell. May you all continue to motivate and be a source of remembrance that there are things Barack can’t change, and that there are still elements in this country that need to be challenged and fought for.

There are things that won’t be changed even if the federal government steps in and convicts the officers on a wrongful death case. There are things that won’t be changed no matter how much money the victims in this incident receive in any settlement from the City of New York. It’s times like this when it feels very lonely to be a n****r. With apologies to Nas, that all encompassing we are all n*****s approach doesn’t hold any water. Because as long as Blue n*****s can kill Black n*****s with impunity, we can’t all be “niggas.”