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Commentary: If you are African American in America, stay vigilant.

Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Commentary: If you are African American in America, stay vigilant.
September 30
14:19 2020

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

I am in my home and I have not committed a crime. The same sentiment can be made about millions of people who share my skin color. Because of recent events involving African Americans, more anxiety has come into our daily lives.

The last thing we need is more anxiety because we already have high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease in high numbers.

With the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, injustice has been at our doorstep.

Last week after an agonizing six months, the state of Kentucky finally ruled on the death of Breonna Taylor. The City of Louisville awarded the Taylor family $12 million as a settlement in her death.

The financial settlement can be looked at in multiple ways. The horrific and inexcusable way that her life was taken makes the money far less important.

Does $12 million make the six bullets fired into Breonna Taylor justified in any way? The answer is a resounding no!

Last Wednesday, the Kentucky grand jury’s decision was to not charge any of the three police officers with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

Justice for us in America is always delayed and denied. How can her home be riddled with police gunfire and no one be criminally charged? There are not any rational responses for these actions.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in his briefing said that Brett Hankison was the only officer charged. He was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment because he shot into the homes of Breonna Taylor’s neighbors.

Upon hearing Mr. Cameron’s comments, I became instantly ill.

I do not know who had more nerve: the grand jury making the charge or the attorney general reading the charge. The attorney general has incurred the wrath of many people lately.

Attorney Benjamin Crump said, “Did he present any evidence on Breonna Taylor’s behalf? Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scale of justice to help try to exonerate and justify the killing of Breonna Taylor?”

Jaylon Brown of the Boston Celtics said, “To be honest, I was not surprised.” 

Dwayne Haskins of the Washington football team said, “We have to be better as a country and as people.”

This has been a miscarriage of justice. Hurt and pain are common themes that have been woven into this tapestry of assault and guilt.

Each day, we pledge to do better, but we do not. Each day, we say we have had enough, but we get more. Each day, the news haunts us and the television pictures scare us.

Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP said, “You have a right to be angry. You have a right to be upset and you have a right to fear.”

When we go into the public square, we must look around and look out. Social conditions and health worries have made us leery and weary.

Those of us who wear masks are mocked. The POTUS said he could not understand a reporter because he was wearing a mask. Protestors are maligned because they are marching for justice and fairness.

Hypocrisy is ruining America. Men and women in our country’s leadership say one thing one year and the next year they say something entirely different about the same subject. Gaslighting has become a tactic of the enemy.

We cannot allow wrong to overtake right. We cannot let evil overthrow good. As Congressman John Lewis said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak. You have to say something; you have to do something.”

America is our country. We will not sell out to peddlers of insanity.

James B. Ewers Jr. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator and can be reached at overtimefergie.2020@nullyahoo.com.

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