Tag Archives: Terence Crutcher

What Black America should do about the Acquittal of Betty Shelby

Although I am certainly not desensitized to this predictable pattern of unarmed black men having their lives extinguished by white law enforcement officer’s who are then exonerated by a jury; however, if I were a betting man, I do know where I would place my bet when such cases occur. Desensitized I am not, cynical about the entire process, most certainly.

The recent acquittal of Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Shelby for the shooting of unarmed Terence Crutcher is unsurprising. I, along with the vast majority of black America, long ago abandoned any faith in this nation’s criminal justice system. If nothing else, the repetitious nature of these cases proves that African-American lives are in peril by a tyrannical white majority encamped around them. Put simply, from the moment of their arrival under the control of Europeans, persons of African descent have always existed under a unique set of rules and regulations. Although they have consciously chosen to avoid the obvious solution to their unique problems, the truth behind African-American liberation is relatively simple; unless they do something definitive, their position as second-class citizens will never come to an end.

Let’s be honest; we have seen this traveling play of a white officer using lethal violence against an unarmed black man so often that the script has become formulaic. Consider the following order of events and see if it does not reflect the sordid tale behind the killings of a host of black men,

  • African-American male has a random encounter with a white officer.
  • For the white officer, the conflict with this unknown African-American male began long before this encounter as the law enforcement officer’s socialization and training have preloaded him with copious amounts of prejudicial thoughts and stereotypical views.
  • White law enforcement officers pre-existing thoughts facilitate an uncontrollable fear that leads to their adoption of a “shoot first and ask questions later.”
  • White officer kills unarmed and defenseless black male
  • The criminal investigation leads to the officer being charged by a District Attorney whose actions are strategic maneuvers not to secure a conviction, rather appease an angered black populace whose only means of responding to injustice is burning down their community.
  • The White officer is acquitted of the crime.
  • The victim remains dead.
  • The family and loved one’s, along with notable black celebrities, oops I meant leaders, crying foul on CNN and MSNBC.
  • Black activists aspiring to displace national level leaders on CNN and MSNBC lead their community in unproductive protests that allow them to achieve little more than blowing off steam, talk tough to whites who are not present to hear their rhythmic lamentations, and then allow their followers to return to mundane lives that are heavily monitored by the same law enforcement authorities that caused the problem in the first place.
  • African-American male has a random encounter with a white officer; I am sure that you recognize the cycle.

In many ways, the pattern of black men being murdered by white officers has proven to be a reoccurring situation that neither national level black leaders nor grassroots oriented protest movements have been able to ameliorate. The alluded to ineffectiveness guarantees that black men will continue to be murdered in American streets by white law enforcement authorities. If nothing else, one would expect for black activists to abandon failed strategies and move toward the formulation of new strategy.

Obviously, there is no other path forward than the abandonment of an activist tradition of black leaders’ behaving as ambulance chasing lawyers seeking clients. As has been mentioned before in this space, but also from Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, Minister Farrakhan, and a host of other thinkers across the past two centuries, African-Americans must cease “traditional” activist pursuits and turn their attention toward the organization of disorganized and dormant political currency.

The alluded to path forward must include:

  • An unparalleled dedication to destroying the following illiteracies within our community.
    • Political
    • Cultural
    • Historical
    • Economic
  • The development of unprecedented group solidarity in regards to politics and economics.
  • A significant increase in the black community’s financial support of independent black schools.
  • The development of understanding between the need to support black businesses and the responsibilities of black business owners to support the community.
  • An abandonment of reactionary politics.

There is quite simply no other path forward for African-Americans. The time for serious definitive action passed long ago; it is time that we forge a new reality in the present as preparation for a glorious future.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017


There is no possible way that anyone, especially within Black America, can be shocked by the recent murder of Terence Crutcherterence-crutcher-4 by a white female ‘law enforcement officer’ in Tulsa, Oklahoma. C’mon, after the years of such murders one would not be that far out of line to consider America’s traditions as: baseball, Apple Pie, and the murder of Black people by white law enforcement officers.

If nothing else, these things are in many ways bonding agents for the American people. You are either a supporter of the Yankees or Red Sox, love or hate Apple Pie, or either support the ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement or ‘Blue Lives Matter’. Let’s face facts, this is who we are as a nation.

Hence, there should not be any real shock regarding the undeniable, irrefutable fact that Mr. Terence Crutcher needlessly and unnecessarily lost his life at the hands of what can only be considered among those who believe that ‘Black Lives Matter’ so-called “law enforcement officers”. The fact that this irrefutable murder was caught on camera no longer matters because Americans no longer need to see the event to decide where their allegiance lays.

Within the pantheon of African-Americans, male and female, who have met their demise via this American tradition, Terence Crutcher is nothing special; he has actually joined a revered crowd of brothers such as Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Carl Hampton, Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, and the list stretches across several centuries.

Quite possibly the most unsettling aspect of being on the losing side of this American tradition is that it invariably brings forth a terence-crutcher-2cadre of clowns with a predictable “playbook” that has consistently failed to secure even a modicum of justice. The clowns that I refer to are also known as African-American preachers, community activists, and/or elected officials. Their thin playbook consists of predictable actions/activities such as:

  1. Decrying the murder of the victim.
  2. Publicly begging for an ‘independent investigation’.
  3. Spewing hollow threats that in their totality amount to little more than a orgy of ‘mental masturbation’.
  4. Holding rallies, marching, and press conferences addressing police brutality.
  5. Burying the deceased with a righteous emotion-filled indignation that promises ‘never again’; that is until the next time a Black man is shot down in an American street by a white law enforcement officer and we all know that there will be a next time.

The aforementioned playbook of reactionary activism has repeatedly failed us, yet we adhere to it as if it has secured countless victories. And as the great saying goes, ‘if you do what you always did, you gon’ get what you always got.” It is this obvious lesson that our so-called “race leaders” have failed to recognize.

Although Mr. Terence Crutcher deserves better, the truth of the matter is that as long as we adhere to a losing totally reactionary terence-crutcherstrategy that it is impossible for African-Americans to secure anything resembling justice for Mr. Terence Crutcher. Put simply, the reactionary nature of African-American activism, the lack of cohesiveness and astounding political disorganization serve as supreme roadblocks to even the issuing of a challenge or demand against white politico economic power. The aforementioned maladies guarantee that African-American leaders are forced to do little other than appeal to the conscious of white power-brokers by begging them to address our collective grievances.

When will African-American leaders and more importantly those that blindly follow their lead learn that threats, public statements, and wearing out of shoe leather is NOT a winnable strategy for dealing with institutional racism. It is the reason that they have made zero progress in ameliorating the voluminous problems found within law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, or even financial institutions. Antiquated protest activities barely place demands, let alone a significant threat, upon politically organized entities.

It is only through an already mobilized political force that a significant blow to institutions and those individuals who make up those institutions may be delivered. Put simply, the lack of political currency and cohesion leaves the African-American community completely vulnerable to the repeated attacks of law enforcement agencies.

Unfortunately, the reaction of our “leaders” to the murder of Mr. Terence Crutcher will emanate from a centuries old playbook that terence-crutcher-3has yet to work a single time. Such futility is the greatest indicator that not only will there be continuing abuses upon African-Americans by law enforcement officers, but also the African-American community will remain powerless in either preventing or responding to the incident in a significant way. It is only through correcting intra-racial political disorganization and inefficiency that we will ever be positioned to secure justice for future victims of police brutality within our community.

Sadly, we simply do not possess the ability to secure justice for our most recently fallen brother, Mr. Terence Crutcher. Considering such, I will offer the most significant statement that I, or any African-American, can issue in honor of the recently deceased; Rest In Peace, brother.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016