Ever since the Ferguson Mo. grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, protests against law enforcement’s murdering of African American males have been sweeping the country.
Pasadena joined the ranks this past Sunday with their own, as it was billed, “peaceful protest.”
That’s what they called it and by an invitation-only crowd they pridefully maintained the peace.
But how come folks in the local barber and beauty shops were unaware the March, taking place on a few well-chosen streets in downtown Pasadena, was going to take place?
The folks who live on Summit Ave. were unaware they could have been on the lawn at All Saints Episcopal Church, across from City Hall singing “We Shall Overcome”.
But maybe they weren’t invited because the conveners of the “members-only” event knew the trouble-makers from Summit Ave., the heart of the Pasadena ‘hood, weren’t about to be duped into singing an out-dated civil rights message that no longer has Black folks believing in that elusive “someday.”
Ah, only in Pasadena. The city of the elite.
“Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome some day,” is an interesting position to take when marching against the forces who are sworn into duty with the pledge of protecting and serving but instead who kill and then escape prosecution.
While the march drew a good size crowd, believe it when I say, they were hand- picked!
Well, I do live in Pasadena the same place where the PTA at my children’s school. back in 1965, asked me to attend a meeting. Fortunately, I was not able to be there. Unknown to me, I was on the agenda: The group wanted to know why I wore kinky hair – a natural.
The mother of Kendrec McDade, the young unarmed black teenager the Pasadena Police shot to death, was at the protest (photo attached), but oddly enough she wasn’t chanting with the assemblage of folks who took to the steps of City Hall after their brief parade around the block.
Two ministers spoke, and then sent the invitees, 2 by 2, with the youth leading the procession, on their way.
This formation can best be compared to kindergartners who line up at the classroom door to make it to the cafeteria for lunch. Only thing missing – the double file of marchers were not holding hands.
McDade’s heartbroken mother was NOT part of the kick-off. She wasn’t introduced or acknowledged, but the Mayor of the City and the Police Chief were both introduced each receiving a round of applause.
It was a peaceful and orderly bunch of invitees, about 400 of them. They followed the lead of the woman with the bullhorn who led the chanting on the steps of City Hall – no I didn’t mix up my words, it was chanting, NOT shouting.
The chanters were like a church choir having come to the steps to sing, well, chant, familiar Christmas Carols.
The conveners of this very orchestrated fiasco proved their worth and showed that Pasadena CA is nobody’s Ferguson MO. Pasadena knows how to keep its natives controlled, and who better to do that than men of the cloth.
Where is Michael Zinzun when we need him most?
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