Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou is still missing, but his parents and extended family and friends, other good parents and thousands of concerned citizens are keeping collective hopes alive.
Whatever that nameless white woman wrote on social media that caused such consternation among so many people of goodwill who were listening to CJAD radio a few days after the story of the young boy’s disappearance hit the news was no surprise. It was another occasion for [some] people with questionable intentions and skewed thinking to crawl out of the crevices of anonymity and wallow in their mud of hatred and hate…
To paraphrase what she apparently said, “I have a bright future for that boy… hunt him down and bring him back to he plantation…”
Meanwhile, his parents and sibling are anguished, in spite of the support of friends and thousands of people of goodwill who continue to help in the search for Ariel.
I for one only heard about the matter while listening to a discussion on CJAD radio regarding the disappearance of Ariel, the subject of a police (and volunteers) search for almost three weeks now, missing since apparently visiting the home of a friend who unfortunately wasn’t home when he arrived. On his way back home, according to images of him walking on the sidewalk, captured on a surveillance camera the boy simply vanished. And he has been the subject of a police and citizens search ever since.
In what seems to be a perpetual climate of hatred and intolerance [of certain human beings…] nourished by institutionalized and systemic racism, nothing surprises me. When it comes to Black people, there are many people out there living in the shadows… that racist woodwork who will invariably sound off at ‘opportune’ times to get Black people and others to react by pressing the right buttons. As they sit back under the cover of anonymity and salivate.
People who were able to voice their outrage said that anonymous person’s deplorable expression, which is shared by many, must be used as a “teachable moment… she should be provided with sensitivity training… she should be fired… shouldn’t be given a second chance at her job…”
Last thing I heard, though, is that  ‘Anonymous’ was fired from her job; maybe that was just put out there to quell the neighbourhood and broader community outrage.
As aggravating as it often is I’ve come to terms with all things that impact and affect us one way or another and stopped biting ‘the bait’; I want to maintain my mental equilibrium… sanity. Primarily because I [we] live in a society where any and everything racial… racist must be expected, and dealt with as we individually and collectively deem appropriate.
But after all that she had to say on social media juxtaposed with what so many people of conscience from diverse backgrounds continue to do by helping in the search for that boy, it’s heart-warming… to see that while skin colour matters more to some… or most people, to others who believe that certain human issues supersede aesthetics it continues to be a non-factor.
Meanwhile, as our local police [SPVM] have been earning the respect of Montrealers (especially in the Black community, and despite questionable police-community relations and interactions over the years), kudos are in order for their ongoing efforts to help find the boy who has been missing for almost three weeks now.
In this instance, the takeaway from all this – perhaps much to the chagrin of Ms. Anonymous on Facebook – is that all lives matter, including Black ones, young and old. I can only assume that she was ecstatic to view that videotaped news item a couple weeks ago coming out of Sacramento, California of the slaughter of another Black male during a police hunt… Odds are their lives were “in danger.”
It was my belief that cell phone and video cams capturing the murder of Black men by police would’ve meant the death of police fabrications, especially in the wake of Officer Michael Slager’s shooting death of Walter Scott (at least five bullets in the back) on April 4, 2015 in North Charleston, S.C. when Scott was running for his life. That day Slager said he was in “total fear…” The good judge didn’t buy his “story.” He’s now doing a 20-year stretch.
The sentence imposed by that ‘good’ judge was an aberration. Actually, no, it was twisted, turned upside down, went against the norm.
In the interim, things have gone back to normal. Several (white-police-kill-Black-male) incidents have happened with the usual trite police excuse, and outcome. Such as that one in Baton Rouge, La., when one (of two) white officers fired three shots into Alton Sterling as he was been subdued on a sidewalk. He did have a gun, but…
So here’s back to normal… On Tuesday, March 28, two white policemen were exonerated in the 2016 shooting death of another Black man, Alton Sterling.
As one story reads, “No charges will be filed against two Baton Rouge police officers in the 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling, after an investigation determined that the shooting was justified, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said Tuesday…”
I watched the incident as it played out that day.
“We have concluded that the officers in question acted as reasonable officers under existing law and were justified in their use of force,” Landry’s written report on the investigation reads…
Blah, blah, blah…
Whatever brand weapon Stephon Clark was packing that night—Samsung, Alcatel, Sony, LG, Apple—when he trying to evade the police under the bright light of that helicopter hovering above was clearly no match for the heat the police was packing that night. One thing is certain it wasn’t an AR-15.
…So when the police finally caught up to him in his grandmother’s backyard and within their gun sights, they fired a salvo, apparently 20 bullets. Don’t know how many connected, but we heard them. And apparently after coming to terms with what they had just done one officer can be heard saying “Hey, mute.”
I imagine they began to concoct their story of the incident… for an inevitable court trial: (“My life was in danger…thought he had a gun…” etc. Chances are they will be absolved and exonerated. We have become almost conditioned for the outcome.
In the meantime, in keeping with what has become an established practice following the killing of another Black male, the Sacramento police are also performing “administrative duties…” probably to afford them enough time to plan their build their case.
The irony (paradox) of that Sacramento incident is that the cell phone, which has become the twenty-first century tool, protection, eye-witness of choice as it were, of Black people, especially males – to record and prevent police abuse of their power – in that undeclared war on Black men is no longer a deterrent. In fact it cost Stephon Clark his life.
Look for that police excuse to happen again…