Defender Associate Editor, Aswad Walker

WHY?

Michael (Mike) Hickmon and screenshot of the video showing Hickmon being shot.

My sister is a sports mom. Her two sons (my nephews) have played all the sports, with football being their favorite. And my sister is that sports parent who gets loud at the opening kickoff, and only gets louder as the game goes on. But she gets loud for her babies and their team. She doesn’t do what she’s told me she’s seen far too much of—parents of competing teams going off on each, each other’s kids, the refs and the coaches. For years, my sister has decried the vanishing sportsmanship and common decency that once existed among parents at little league games, coupled with more verbal and physical altercations. So, when I heard about Michael Hickmon, that Dallas-area coach of a 9-year-old football team, getting shot and killed because pissed-off parents were fighting, I was horrified but not surprised. Folk have been asking “why,” as in, “why such violence at a kid’s game” or “why did Hickmon’s son have to witness this tragedy?” But the better question is, what the hell are we gonna do to get our collective minds and spirits right so this is the last such tragedy we have to hear about?

LAW & ODOR

Something stinks. Because despite all their “Blue Lives Matter” chants and slavish devotion to “law and order” politicians, conservatives have never fully believed in law and order. Oh, they believe in “them laws” (the police) keeping your Black ass in order (in line, in our place). But the moment police hold conservatives accountable for living within the laws of the land, they scream victim, break all the laws attempting to overthrow a national election and attack cops. According to U.S. crime statistics, for decades angry whites have shot and killed more police than any other demographic. By far. Daily, more threats and violent attacks against America’s top cops (the FBI) happen. And while local and federal cops continued to portray crime as a Black thang, they had to finally admit the number one threat of domestic terrorism and anti-police violence comes from whites angry about something or other. Why am I sharing this? In hopes of convincing those seven Blackfolk in America who don’t already know the deal—that we aren’t the ones “them laws’ should be profiling.

CRITICAL RACE PRACTICE

Last week, a Black parent filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Los Angeles United School District over an elementary school lesson. Dig this. The school’s social justice teacher built an entire cotton field in front of the campus so students could pick cotton and gain “a real-life experience” of slavery. The child of the suing parent, who was emotionally “shook” by the exercise, was afraid to tell her mom about the “assignment” for fear of retribution and bad grades from her teacher. It’s amazing but not amusing that the same folk who okay lessons that traumatize our children will fight to the death to keep their kids from being exposed to any Black history beyond their white-washed version of enslavement. I don’t know about you, but I’m critical of that race practice.