In New York, they overthrew the Brooklyn Bridge.
In Chicago, crowds of them shut down Lake Shore Drive.
Similar scenes played out in Seattle, Atlanta, and on HBCU campuses across the county fueled by a coordinated anger.
It’s an expression of disappointment in a system that values brick and mortar over flesh and blood.
That the lives of the marginalized — from Ferguson to Cleveland — are sacrificed to serve and protect the oppressor rather than the oppressed.
That black bodies can be exterminated in the shadow of darkness and in the exposure of sunlight without reason or fear of consequence.
Even when your hands are up while wounded, or your murder is being captured on film for the world to witness.
Data also shows that 18 percent of blacks killed from 2006 through 2012 were under age 21, compared to 8.7 percent of whites.
This is about race in this faux post-racial society.
This is where the frustration comes from.
It also presents itself in the form of mass incarceration, although crime has been on a steady decline over the last three decades.
Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s death, being indicted is a stark example of that.
The officer who administered the illegal choke hold that killed Garner, however, faces no charges.
And the pundits and uneducated question why the people take to the streets and riot.
They riot because there are limits to being treated inhumanely.
When the system confirms that the humanity of an 18-year-old is not worthy, how do you expect those — who share the same ancestry as that teenager — to respect property?
As Dr. Martin Luther King once said about rioting, “It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention.”
Regurgitating the rhetoric of respectability politics to shame that action is not a solution.
Neither is attempting to silence the public outcries by pretending to care about black-on-black crime, lamenting over sagging pants, or blaming rap music for the way black people have historically been subject to sustained derogation.
That’s speaking the language of individuals who scurry from the responsibility of birthing the social monsters which are destroying us.
This war the public has waged is one not only against the authorities, but against dangerous ideologies that threaten our right to exist.
The crowds will only grow. The chats will get louder. The rage will intensify.
Because black lives matter.
SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:Alcorn State versus Southern
Southern has not lost since they were blown out 56-16 by Alcorn State on Sept. 27 in Baton Rogue.
The Jaguars have reached this point with steady play from true freshman quarterback Austin Howard, 1,000-yard rusher Lenard Tillery and a once mangled defense that has come together over the last seven games after being hampered by injury. The defending champions are seemingly poised to become the first SWAC school since Grambling State from 2000 through 2002 to claim consecutive titles. Exacting some revenge from the regular season is high on the things to do list as well.
Alcorn State was supposed to be in Houston. They were the trendy pick among people paid to prognosticate season outcomes. A another 9-win season for Alcorn State wasn’t a surprise to most. The Braves were expected to be good. But not dominate. Not scoring 50 or more points in six of 12 regular season games. Not be No. 1 in total defense and No. 1 total offense. Not be ranked in the FCS Coaches Top 25 poll. Alcorn State has simply been the best team in the SWAC all season.
It is why Alcorn State will its first SWAC championship since the mid-1990s.
Alcorn State 50, Southern 31