Home » Uncategorized » For Harriet …Eric Garner…I’ll “March” for Them All.

For Harriet …Eric Garner…I’ll “March” for Them All.

It’s Me!



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On July 17th, 2014, some of the summer’s sunlight was dimmed by the serious disregard for human life, as demonstrated in the dangerously deviant behavior of New York City Police Department Officers, when they choked and killed 43 year-old, father of six, Mr. Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk. No one came to his aid, but thankfully Ramsey Orta’s video footage made all of us eye witnesses to the killing of Eric Gardener.

We have witnessed yet another man’s life and character be put on trial as justification for why his verdict was death (Eric Garner was allegedly selling illegal cigarettes which is why the officers initially accosted him).

Since he is no more, I will “march” for Eric Garner to ensure that justice reigns supreme to thwart the supremacy of violence and -isms that tend to menace too many members of law enforcement.

And, summertime violence is nothing new and neither is using deadly force to prevent groups of people from obtaining a suitable or better quality of life.  One has to go back only 95 years to the year 1919, historically labeled the“Red Summer” in which strings of violent, race riots broke out all over the nation-Chicago, Washington D.C, and Arkansas were the bloodiest as our nation’s streets ran red.   These riots resulted as racism and violent supremacy reared their ugly heads and reduced the behavior of whites to the lowest depths of hate and inhumanity—too many became murderers without conviction in an attempt to mark territories that simply did not solely belong to a white populace, but to all Americans.

With the close of World War I (WWI), the continual presence of African Americans moving to Northern and Midwestern cities to fill vacancies that resulted from WWI during the Great Migration, and employment competition and shortages, the summer of 1919 was an inferno of vile, vicious behavior that kept America divided, devoid of summertime joy and worse, red.

The primary victims of this summertime violence? Hard-working, Black men providing for the families they had or the families they would soon produce when the means and mediums afforded them the ability.

But they weren’t the only ones.

While most of us think that we know all there is to know about the life of Harriet Tubman, a supreme Queen, what most of us don’t know is that Harriet Tubman was also the victim of choking by a train’s conductor, an authority figure of the day, as she traveled from Philadelphia to New York in 1865.  In American Legacy Magazine’s summer 2004 issue, according to writer Marc Ferris, Mrs. Tubman carried a soldier’s pass, which she likely gained from her second husband Mr. Nelson Davis who fought in the Civil War, when she boarded this Northern train.  Assuming that her pass was stolen or forged, the conductor asked her to abandon her seat, but Mrs. Tubman refused and called the conductor a racist scoundrel.  The conductor then proceeded to choke her, two other men jumped in and all three of these men scuffled with the defenseless, 48-year old woman, Mrs. Tubman.  As a result, she suffered a broken arm and bruised ribs.   No one came to her aid.

Because she is no more, but clearly used her strong-willed and divinely-blessed life to challenge racism, sexism and other societal ills, I will “march” for her to ensure that our 21st Century society understands how deeply entrenched racially and power-induced violence is in our nation.

We cannot afford to pick and choose the violent law-enforcement violations and occurrences for which we stand and the ones we ignore.  We have to be vigilant against them all.  On July 1st, 2014 David Diaz captured video footage of a California Highway Patrol where he mercilessly and savagely beat a bare-foot African American grandmother, Marlene Pinnock, on a highway’s median.  No one came to her aid.

In an October 25th, address delivered in 1865 in front of the Colored Man’s Convention of Indiana, of Masonic Hall, John Mercer Langston, Virginia State University’s first President and an American legislator stated:

John Mercer Langston's passage

It’s time the summer reflected the yellow light of the rising sun for all Americans, rather than the reddened tint of a setting one for some.

For Harriet …Eric Garner…I’ll march for them all.

  “If We Must Die”

If we must die, let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die

So that our precious blood may not be shed

In vain; then even the monsters we defy

Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe!

Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,

And for their thousand blows deal one death blow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

Source: Claude McKay, “If We Must Die,” in Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922).


  1. When I saw the video of Eric Garner’s death, murder actually, it put me into an all night outrage, I studied that video, Mr. Garner was sincere, he never deserved this. I was yelling “get away, there’re behind you! This may sound foolish here in writing, but it’s from the hopeless feeling I’ve had since my son Roland was murdered, the killer walked away with not even an arrest. These “following correct procedure” situations allow for murder.Castle doctrine, Stand your Ground, and Police procedures in “taking down” a targeted person are so wrong. My heart cries out to Mr.Garner’s family, I followed Trayvon Martin’s case, I knew there wasn’t going to be an investigation. Did my son merit no investigation because of hi very long dreadlocks as he lay dead within the doorway? We insisted on an investigation, the detectives eventually did look into the circumstance and called me to say they realized ” This wasn’t self defense, your son didn’t deserve what happened to him, but there’s no way to fight the castle doctrine.” These “proper procedures” and “fits the letter of the law” excuses must be fought. There must be justice for Eric Garner! The use of a chokehold must convict at the very least, the officer who used it. The immediate brutal “takedown” policy must end.

    • ThePoliDayReport says:

      Wow! Patricia my sincere condolences to you on the loss of your beloved son. And, thank you so much for sharing this powerful, personal testament and reaction. The laws are in place that say that choke holding takedowns cannot be used, so now they have to be enforced. We have to be vigilant in seeing that they happen. You are so right, they must end. Believe me, nothing you have shared here sounds foolish, because as much as I saw the imminence that was going to befall Mr. Garderner in that video, there was a longing in me to pause the video and rewrite the outcome. But, I couldn’t.

      Please continue to come to visit us. There is very new information that I will be posting as it happens regarding law enforcement and the ways in which our people are being abused and killed as a result of the condemnation of blackness and this impending and absolute fear if blackness as well. I will also continue, to the best of my ability, connect the historical dots. Black lives matter. Unapologetically. Thank you very much for visiting us. Hopefully you will follow us and contribute more pertinent information in a comment and even as a contributor.

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