In my piece, NBA Players talk but are they saying what really needs to be said?, one of the points I stressed was the use of the proper words and terms. Negligence in this area does not identify the goal but will also leaves the door open for other groups or entities to come in redefine the terms for their benefit and hijack the energy to achieve their ends. This is why I stressed using the term “anti-black racism” rather than nebulous phrases such as “racial inequality” or “systemic injustice” because it speaks specifically to what’s being addressed.
In the post game presser of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals , Celtics forward Jaylen Brown wore a shirt that said “WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END to POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE.” Stevie Wonder could see ( and to the the Stevie truthers out there, he is really blind) that the message on Brown’s shirt clearly addressed state sponsored murders of black people fuelled by anti-black racism.
However Bleacher Report decided to gloss completely over the anti-black racism portion, which is the reason for the killings and opted to lump it in under the umbrella of “social justice.” This is why I stress using the correct applicable terms to describe the issue we are combating, and this tweet is a prime example of that. The use of the term “social justice was not a mistake; it is becoming a catch all term that tones down the severity and perniciousness of anti-black racism.
Consider how jarring it would have been had the headline of that tweet read “Jaylen Brown wears shirt calling for the end of anti-black racism and police brutality”?
Understand that Fred Hampton was not assassinated because of social injustice. Social justice was not why Medgar Evers’ home firebombed and he eventually assassinated. It was not the reason that assasin’s bullets took Malcolm and Martin from us. James Byrd was not dragged behind that truck , Rekia Boyd shot because of social justice. Kalief Browder lost three years of his life, and then ultimately took his life and it was nor due to social justice. Social justice is not why the killers of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland are walking around free as bird. All of these things and other atrocities I didn’t even name , occurred because of anti-black racism and shame on Bleacher Report for doing their part in hijacking the narrative.