End the killings of Black people

Published 8:55 pm Friday, June 26, 2020

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By D.K. Seneca Bock

As a Black woman, and as part of the African Diaspora, I am firmly standing in solidarity with the call to end the wholesale attempts to exterminate Black people. I exist, live and will die as a Black woman who has endured the repeated assault on my mind, body and spirit.

I have been privy to the savage and brutal attacks unleashed on my brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, cousins, friends, church members, children, and otherwise innocent citizens of these here United States. For instance, when I was a young school girl, I experienced devastating trauma when two family friends were beaten, maimed and disabled at the hands of local police. One was a male who suffered severe, life altering injuries from police attack dogs (they literally chewed off his buttocks and upper thigh). The second incident was a female who sustained a life-altering, brutal beating, leaving her with severe brain injury.

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The last time I had to write such a letter was after the Charlottesville debacle, after which I encountered threatening phone calls that said I need to watch out. On several occasions, I had people following me, and at least twice there were attempts to run me off the road. This is the life of many freedom fighters. We are threatened often. Too often, Black people have had to suffer all sorts of acts of violence, including actual lynching. Historically, we know of the Emmet Till story. A young innocent young Black man was bludgeoned to death because he so-called had the gall to “look at a precious white woman.”

Who has the actual moral tenacity to stand up? The young are once again taking up the mantle that older people should have long ago. Well, they are protecting the rights of all of us by protesting under their constitutional rights. The NAACP stands in solidarity with the peaceful protestors. Our patience has been tested repeatedly. City of Suffolk, we are calling for corrective action in the following areas: policing, criminal justice reform, and fair distribution of wealth. We have repeatedly asked the city leaders (with no reasonable course of action on your part): Where is the small-minority owned business commission that we asked for over four years ago? What are we doing to correct and improve the deplorable, inhumane conditions inside that place you refer to as the regional jail? It is not fit for human habitation, let alone a place where real healing can take place. We have plans to put an end to this age-old slaughtering campaign.

Again, COVID-19 disproportionately and negatively impacts the Black community. Heartless souls who think it’s OK to incarcerate our brothers and sisters because we can’t figure out to how to help the needy — severely mentally ill, the homeless, the soul-crushed from years of abuse, the retired military and other veterans, the medically disenfranchised, etc.

Our branch of NAACP has joined forces with branches all across this country, our state and national leadership team, other civil rights organizations, and the grassroots to develop strategic plans of action, public policy and new laws that aim to protect the vulnerable. Black Lives do Matter, always have, and always will. We will not allow anyone to change the here and now narrative. We fight for all people. But at this critical moment in time, the focus is Black people. How dare anyone try to “flip the script”? Who are we? Bloodthirsty animals?

Let us calm ourselves, take a deep breath, and honor one another’s humanity. What happened to Mr. Floyd was a reprehensible, disgusting and inhumane act of racial hatred.

To learn more about public policy changes that NAACP seeks, go to NAACP.org or contact the VSC office at VSCNAACP.President@gmail.com.

D.K. Seneca Bock is president of the Nansemond-Suffolk Branch of the NAACP.