Freddie Gibbs & Krondon / "Peaceful (Justice for Oscar Grant)" [audio]

Trials of the black-hearted
In the land where just because of your skin
Crooked cops make n*ggas targets
Can't even understand the language they write the laws in
It's hard to raise children
no lights in the building
and half the neighborhood won't survive in the system
the coroner is overworked
cops killing every innocent n*gga
just trying to make a living

It's hard to believe that it has been two years since Oscar Grant was murdered at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year's Day in 2009. Time just marches on, no? And as much as I know about institutionalized racism and the history of police brutality in this country, it's still hard to believe that Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer who shot an unarmed, prone Grant, received a sentence that all but ensures he'll spend roughly the same amount of time in prison Michael Vick served for running a dogfighting ring.*

Peaceful (Justice for Oscar Grant)


It's also hard to reconcile feeling simultaneously shocked by and accepting of (?) the callousness of the "justice" system in this country. I wanted to be surprised. I wanted to believe that for once, someone would just look at the evidence, look at the horrific video footage and say "This is not right. This is not acceptable. You have to actually pay for what you did." But at the same time, deep down, I knew that none of that would happen. As much as I hoped I would be shocked, somewhere in me, I knew the verdict would be a slap in the face. I knew that once again, a jury would rule that an armed police officer had a reasonable fear of an unarmed, restrained black man. I hate that I was right. But I think I hate the fact that I expected that slap in the face even more. That kind of feeling is dangerously close to apathy and its neighbor cynicism, if it's not already there.

Perhaps that same mix of emotions motivated Los Angeles duo Self Scientific to release "Peaceful (Justice for Oscar Grant)", a hypnotic single featuring Freddie Gibbs and Krondon. It's a clarion call to reject apathy, to reject cynicism. To never forget. To never deem this acceptable behavior.

Cold slugs killing all my brothers in the city
You confused a pistol with a taser gun, really?
Another notch for the devils that support this
how long can we afford to go through such tortures?
young lives framed in a painful portrait
blood-stained porous concrete it's morbid
innocent men slain inside a wood coffin
they contradict the laws far too often...

It's a start.


*I say this not to excuse Michael Vick's actions. They were deplorable; that goes without question. But the punishment did not fit the crime, and Mehserle's punishment certainly does not fit the crime of taking another human being's life. Not at all.