Why Oscar Grant matters to us all


This is my fourth attempt at writing this. I can’t seem to find the words.

Like many of you, I am outraged at the verdict in the Oscar Grant trial. However, I am not surprised. Some will say that a conviction of any sort is a victory. I can’t buy that.

This execution was caught on tape. An acquittal would have been too blatant, but this is not far from it — too blatant that is. Can you imagine any of us shooting another human being, claiming we thought our gun was a taser and this being acceptable to the point we only have to serve a max of four years?

I personally know people who have served more time for selling weed. Maybe it’s me, but I think the taking of a life is more severe than selling marijuana, a drug that is proven to be less dangerous than tobacco or alcohol, not to mention all the prescription drugs that are legal because white people own the production.

I don’t want to get into all the ways this outcome is unjust and racist. I think those are fairly clear. What I do want to focus on is why this matters. This entire tragedy is just one of the many that happens across this country every single day. How many Oscar Grants happen that don’t get video tapped? How many have to deal with police harassing their community?

If we do not confront these issues, right here right now, we will continue to see more and more Oscar Grants. The time has come to rethink how we police our communities. It is time to start sacrificing our own comforts and put ourselves on the line for a greater cause, because the truth is it will only be a matter of time before your city is Oakland, and your brother, friend, sister, father, cousin or maybe even you are Oscar Grant.