I’m upset, so I’m just going to get to the point. Posting mugshots of Black men that were just murdered by cops just hours after makes you a sucka. Sure, I can write that in a more flowery way. I can discuss how the racist undertones and dog whistle reporting actually does nothing but further numb the masses to the value of Black life. We can have a discussion about deep discussion where I quote James Baldwin and tie-in some profound wisdom from Malcolm X with a culturally timely quote from Jessie Williams but…well…NAH! All of my degrees, titles and access are on the shelf for this one. Let me get in the dirt with you because that’s the only way you can truly deal with suckas.
A sucka is someone or some entity that is continuously engaging in highly questionable actions. Deeper in the neighborhood where I come from, those actions would be classified as “Sucka S#@&”. However, since my mama reads my writing, I will show some restraint.
Y’all are some suckas for putting that man on trial after he’s already dead. Y’all are some suckas for trying to make his kinfolk discuss his criminal record while his blood is still fresh in the streets. Y’all are some suckas for finding mugshots to share with the public even though his family had appropriate pictures on deck.
And CNN, y’all aren’t the only suckas out there, I just so happened to see you all engage in the buffoonery. MSNBC, FOX, TMZ,it don’t matter. Every time a white cop murders someone that looks like me, I see a greasy, disheveled photo of a Black man next to the graduation picture of some heroic white cop fearful for his life that just wanted to do his job. STOP IT!
Here’s how to not be a sucka. Just give the news. Show respectable photos that honor a life rather than indict an already dead man. At least give of the semblance that you respect the family and friends of the deceased when you interview them right in the midst of their trauma. You can also choose to not be a sucka by holding cops accountable. You know good and damn well that the situation could’ve been handled better.
Finally, because I’m emotionally exhausted, my last suggestion for you to not be a sucka is to allow an inkling of humanity to drip out of your sucka faces and into the your sucka camera. Here’s an idea, show the same humanity you showed when something happens to little white children. I applaud you when you do, because life is life. A life was exterminated early this morning in the most brutal of fashions. ACT LIKE IT.
Listen, CNN, I don’t hate you. I too have done sucka things in my life. We all have. The question is will you change? Do you even want to change?
RIP Alton. I don’t know you but you deserved better.