“Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man – but a seed – which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we will know him then for what he was and is – a Prince – our own black shining Prince! – who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.”
Those were the words from Ossie Davis’s eulogy of Malcolm X. I use them today to eulogize partially and memorialize, fully, the life of Zaevion Dobson. Brother Dobson is our Prince. He is our Turner. He represents the thousands of souls who cast themselves overboard during the long Journey from Africa to unknown shores. He is the embodiment of what it means to be a Black Super hero.
It all started at 7:18pm ET when thug gangbangers fired shots at a home where a Mother and her 10 year old were in the house. The mother was hit multiple times. Three hours later, Brandon Perry and several men drove to the neighborhood where Zaevion was hanging out on a porch with three friends who were girls. Two men walked up and almost immediately shots were fired. That’s when our hero. Our Prince leapt on the girls and gave his life for his friends. Zaevion threw himself on top of the girls to “shield them from the shooters”.
Later on Mr. Perry was shot while driving his BMW and later died of his injuries.
Many of you at this point will ask me: “Shelley how is this young man comparable to our enslaved ancestors or Nat Turner?”. Well, here is why. Min. Farrakhan stated in Washington DC at the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March that we are fighting on two fronts-white, racist cops who shoot our young people down in the street and the thugs and gangbangers who are terrorizing our people in neighborhoods all over the country. Mr. Dobson is the second war’s Martyr. Brother Dobson is Nat Turner in his courage and bravery. His ability to climb off his knees and be Man. Mr. Dobson is our enslaved and captured ancestors who gave their lives rather to be a slave to other men or more importantly a slave to fear. Mr. Dobson lived a life that by all accounts represented what is the Black community has to offer: Student-Athlete, future successful man, fun loving best friend and loved by all his classmates.
The Mayor of Knoxville called him “One of our success stories”.
These are the kids we cannot lose. Brandon Perry the gang banger who fired at Mr. Dobson as retribution, I say good riddance. We as a people can stand to lose dope boy, thugs. We cannot and from this day forward must refuse to continue to lose our “Princes”. The media gave scant treatment to Mr. Dobson. For example, Don Lemon talked about the shooting then went to a VA hospital story. MSNBC spent an entire day on Sandra Bland non indictment. That was not news. It was a forgone conclusion there would be no indictment because there was no evidence of a crime. If Mr. Dobson had been shot by a cop preferably a white one, then CNN and MSNBC would have dumped out of “riders stuck on Sea world ride” to cover another cop shooting of an innocent black man. But innocent black men shot by a deviant terrorist is not covered. Mr. Dobson’s story does not generate clicks or outrage which is why this story must be written. It is why we must compare Mr. Dobson’s heroism to those who refused to be enslaved and a man who led a slave revolt. We must compare him to the young man who lost his life to terrorists in the deep South whose name was Emmett. Southern racist terrorism is no different than the terrorism our young people are facing in their own neighborhoods. This is not a gun issue (even a ban on guns or background checks would not have kept a young thug from obtaining a gun). This is not racism issue (even at the height of white racism, we were not killing each other in such numbers and so randomly). This is not a cop issue (the police chief at his press conference shed tears over this incident). Furthermore, this problem cannot be solved by a hashtag or interrupting traffic or diners shouting names (unless you are going to run up on gangbangers and shout Zaevion Dobson’s name).
No, this problem will only be solved when the beloved Black community and black leadership calls it what it is-We are at war with Thugs. Until we say it and confront it, it is only then that we can defeat it. The Republicans say if President Obama and Hillary Clinton cannot even say “Radical Islam” when addressing ISIS (the first “I” in ISIS stands for Islamic) then how can you defeat it. And they are right. If we as a community cannot face up to the fact that a small number of our community members are killing our best and brightest then we deserve to lose this race called life. We deserve to be disrespected. A proud people where our college students in the most prestigious and challenging Universities are complaining about “micro aggressions” but refuse to call out the Brandon Perry’s of the world then we don’t deserve to be called a “Mighty Race” any longer. We should be content to wait out the inevitable destruction of our beautiful people and go off in to cultural annihilation.
Brother Zaevion Dobson is our last chance. How we celebrate, talk about, tell our children about and how long is totally dependent on US. We should martyr this young man. We should make his image and life represent the War against the” Thugs” that we must begin to wage or we will no longer be a people on this Earth.
“It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us – unconquered still.”-Ossie Davis
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.- John 15:13
Copyright 2016. Shelley Wynter. All rights reserved