Justice delayed: Message from Associate Director Aswad Walker
Buck O'Neil walks to the field as he is introduced before a minor league all-star game in 2006, in Kansas City, Kan. O'Neil, a champion of Black ballplayers during a monumental, eight-decade career on and off the field, has joined Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva and Bud Fowler in being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame recently. Photo by Charlie Riedel/AP.

JUSTICE DELAYED

The late Buck O’Neil, a two-time Negro League All-Star first baseman, the first Black coach in Major League Baseball and one of baseball’s greatest ambassadors, was recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His induction is worth celebrating, but it’s also justice delayed, a theme all too common for us. The list of Blackfolk still waiting on some semblance of justice is too long for this article, but here’s one example. Marcus Garvey was erroneously deported in 1927 and never allowed back in the U.S. because of a bogus mail fraud charge. Justice sho-nuff delayed. Yet, Sidney Powell, one of the more comical members of the Trump cult, and her nonprofit “Defending the Republic” used the post office and internet to raise $14 million-plus by purposefully spreading 2020 presidential election misinformation. Hence, my question: When will Powell and others who led this “mail fraud” be sent back to where they came from (like Garvey), or at least held accountable for their actions? Until then, it’s just more justice delayed.

NO JUSTICE, NO PIECE

Drake poses in the press room with his awards at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Drake recently removed two of his songs from the Grammy nominations list, giving no reasoning. However, Drake has been extremely critical of the Grammys’ disrespect of Black artists and their music. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Let me get this straight. The Oxford, Michigan school shooter’s parents who bought their shooter a gun, refused to take him home after a teacher discovered his violence-threatening writings, then fled from law enforcement, get a pass?!? Kyle Rittenhouse’s parents, who provided him with a military-grade weapon and drove him across state lines to use it on police brutality protesters, get a pass?!? Where’s the “pass” for that Black mother jailed for enrolling her child in a school outside their zone, hoping to access a better education? Where’s the “pass” for Tamir Rice’s mom who a police union spokesman blamed for Tamir’s death at the hands of police? Where’s the “pass” for Black children criminalized for wearing their natural hair? Blackfolk have given this country every piece of our being—minds, bodies and spirits—for little or nothing in return. It’s time we do like Drake did the Grammys and distance ourselves from those who abuse and/or disrespect us. Moving forward, our mantra should be “No Justice, No Piece.”

SLEEPY JOE

The Rev. Al Sharpton, third from right in front, holds a banner with Martin Luther King, III, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, second from right, and Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, right, among others, during the march to call for sweeping protections against a further erosion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

So, the U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of Texas over its racist redistricting maps. Great. But is it too little, too late? Biden and crew slept on the issue his base is most passionate about (protecting our voting rights), believing they could out-organize voter suppression. This reluctance to “stan” for Black voters has dispirited Blackfolk and emboldened white supremacists to openly move toward overthrowing democracy (Hello, Trump royal family). Yet, Dems don’t believe these insurrectionists will actually “go there.” But Blackfolk know different and see it happening. Okaying racist vigilante violence (i.e. Kyle Rittenhouse). Endorsing racist judges. Installing city and state election overseers willing to overthrow election results they don’t like. Dems think they can excite voters by touting things they’ve checked off their “Things to Do” list. Republicans have no “Things to Do” beyond stealing our votes and our power by tapping into the fear, racism and penchant for violence of their base. Texas state Democratic lawmakers put their lives and careers on the line to protect our votes. Black people historically, have invested blood, sweat and tears to secure our votes. Suing Texas is cool, but Biden and crew are still sleeping on the absolute seriousness of this threat to Democracy and Blackfolk.