Just a couple weeks into the New Year comes an incident that raises concerns, questions and fears about what Black folks can expect in 2014 and the climate in the country. Not surprisingly it involves a Black male driver and an encounter with law enforcement.
The circumstances reported by the man’s family and the images posted on his website would bring shock if such incidents were not the norm for encounters between Black people and those who supposed to serve and protect.
According to his family, Pearl Pearson, 64, is a diabetic deaf driver who resides in the Oklahoma City area. The family says,
“The Oklahoma Highway Patrol pulled Pearl over late in the evening on January 3, 2014. Pearl pulled over as he should.
Pearl’s driver’s license indicates he is Deaf. He also has a placard in his driver’s door that says, “Driver is deaf.”
Pearl pulled over and rolled down his window, expecting an officer to ask for this identification. An officer struck him in the face before Pearl had the chance to do anything. As you can see, he was struck multiple times.
An interpreter was never provided while Pearl was under the care of law enforcement. Not during the booking, hospital, or time at the jail was an interpreter provided, even though Pearl requested one.
Pearl was left wondering ‘why’ the entire time. He has no clue why he was beat. Pearl and his family are still not sure, but are ready for some answers.
Pearl’s own son is a police officer, as was his son-in-law, who is now a deputy sheriff. He respects law enforcement and knows how to respond when pulled over. There is no reason for someone like Pearl to be hurt like this by those who are meant to protect and serve.”
Authorities say the elderly man fled the scene of an automobile accident and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers stopped him later. He is accused of resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident. He is also accused of not following orders to show troopers his hands. There has been no mention of a weapon, striking an officer or kicking an officer.
Sadly the precariousness of Black life isn’t new in America and neither is the abuse and death of Blacks under color of law. Over and over again we see incidents that should be simple encounters turn into brutal and often fatal run-ins. A police officer or state trooper holds the power of life and death in his hands. The option to use force and even deadly force comes with their attempt to protect and serve. But Black life seems to have no value and is far, far too often lost in circumstances that make no sense.
Any encounter with law enforcement can be a deadly one. Black parents warn their sons to hear and obey officers when stopped as part of the rules of the road. Flashing lights don’t bring a sense of relief or wonder, but rather fear that this could be the moment that things go out of control. There also seems to be no limit to how Blacks suffer at the hands of law enforcement officials. Age, gender, geography, alleged crimes, nor disability seem to matter.
As the Oklahoma investigation unfolds and answers to questions are awaited, we believe this incident is a harbinger for what is to come. While we may do nothing to White people or law enforcement to justify the abuses we suffer, there are some things that we must understand: We must understand and accept that we are a people who are dealing with a situation whose solution is divine. Beginning in the 1930s, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam, has warned that America is under judgment and divine chastisement.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has repeated his teacher’s warnings about this modern Rome. She is suffering from God’s decision to destroy her for slavery and evils done to the children of America’s once slaves. We may not want to agree or hear these profound words, but our rejection of truth doesn’t make it a lie. If God has declared this is the time of separation, there is nothing anyone can do to thwart his plans and his desires.
What is promised in the scripture, however, is that failure by the powerful to release God’s chosen people and rebellion among the people of God will bring consequences. Min. Farrakhan warned again Dec. 28 during his series The Time and What Must Be Done that Black-on-Black crime in Chicago and in other cities and failure to heed the divine call to separate from White America brings consequences.
“And because, brothers and sisters, you have heard The Truth, and have rejected The Truth, the scriptures of Jeremiah 8:17, Numbers 21:6-8 and Isaiah 14:29 teaches that part of our chastisement is that we will be bitten by ‘fiery serpents’ and ‘cockatrices’: angry White people, turning on you and killing you in large numbers. The only way you can avoid this is to stop the killing of self,” he warned in that message.
In other messages, the Minister has warned that we must reject our longtime enemy and stand with God today. We have not received justice and time after time, the unjust taking of our lives and the lives of our children are called justified. Should we continue to suffer? We know that White America cannot, will not protect, defend and give us justice. But are we so blind and so deceived that we doubt that God Himself can and will do for us what our enemies have never done?