Are Nationwide Protests Against Police Brutality And Violence Making A Difference?
On Monday, Roland Martin, host of “NewsOne Now,” and the Straight Talk panel (featuring Rev. Carlton Lee, Erika Totten and Michael Melton) discuss the build up of resentment of how police have conducted themselves in the wake of the recent police shootings, what effect the protests are having and if the protests are leading to change in this country.
Martin told the panel, “You can’t overlook how valuable it is for people to come out in this phase of the movement, because you can’t get to the next phase if you don’t raise public awareness, unless you create the resonance.”
He later stated, “You’re not going to get public pressure” on elected officials unless you raise awareness. You’re not going to raise awareness unless you have these marches and protests.”
Martin continued, “When the public sees thousands of protesters marching and mobilizing, the nation then goes, ‘this is no longer an isolated thing.’ Then it puts attention on what happens in their cities and in their cases and those police officers who’ve gotten off from killing people.”
Mom Of Tamir Rice Says She Has Yet To Receive An Apology In The Shooting Death Of Her Son
To this day, Rice has not received an apology from local officials for the indiscriminate shooting of her son who was playing with a toy gun outside of the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014.
Martin asked Rice if she heard from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson since Cleveland Police Officer, Timothy Loehmann killer her son.
Rice told Martin, “I haven’t heard from anyone.”
Martin then asked if she had heard from Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, Speaker John Boehner, Gov. John Kasich or Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Samaria Rice’s answer to each name mentioned was, “No sir.”
#BlackLivesMatter: “Activism And Sports Have Always Gone Hand In Hand In This Country”
Over the course of the last week pro athletes have taken the court and the field wearing “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts and walking out with their hands up.
Their gestures are a sign of solidarity and support of all of the protests against police brutality taking place across America.
On Friday, NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas and former Etan Thomas, former player for the Washington Wizards, joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to talk about the role of athletes in the current fight for social justice.
Isiah Thomas told Martin, “Activism and sports have always gone hand in hand in this country and you can go all the way back to the Olympics with Jesse Owens. In sports, we’ve had Muhammad Ali, we’ve had Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell and a number of other athletes who have put their careers [on the line] and have also expressed their opinions within the sporting arena.”
The former Detroit Piston said that sports has “always been a place where society has really come to discuss really tough, hard issues because sports is the place where you’re supposed to have a level playing field, you’re supposed to have equality for all…it’s not surprising to me that this will be the place for activism.”
Etan Thomas said, “I commend all of the different athletes for being able to stand up for what they believe in, especially because they know the criticism is going to come.”
Thomas also recounted an interview conducted on “The Collision” with Dr. John Carlos who talked about the criticism he and Tommie Smith experienced after the 1968 Olympics.
Thomas explained the Olympians were ridiculed, demonized and people tried to “tear down their whole message” in the same fashion as the media is trying to do with today’s athletes that are taking a stand for social justice.