Who Speaks for Philando Castile?

Philando CastileAfter five days of deliberations in the trial against Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in his car and in front of his 4-year-old daughter, the jury returned a not-guilty of manslaughter verdict.

If you are a person of color, this shouldn’t be any surprise to you. How anyone is actually surprised by this verdict is beyond me.

Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1863, but people of color (PoC) are hardly what you could call free. Since that day, both White supremacist groups and the joke of a so-called justice system have made it a practice to target PoC. They kill and get away with it. There is really no other way to say it. No need to use euphemisms and no need to explain away the obvious. PoC didn’t matter during slavery and we don’t matter now. And no amount of hyperbole can change this fact.

Philando Castile is one in a long line of PoC who have been used as target practice by police and/or killed by White supremacist groups like the KKK, neo-Nazis, skinheads and many more. For a complete list of White supremacist groups around the world, oddly enough Wikipedia has been keeping track of them.

Along with Philando Castile, many other PoC have been killed by police and adding insult to injury, weren’t convicted. Sandra Bland, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Amadou Diallo (shot 41 times by cops) … the list goes on.

What the Press is Saying About the Acquittal of Philando Castile’s Killer

I am not a fan of U.S. mainstream media—they all tend to be sensationalistic and biased, so I found an article in the BBC about the verdict in the Philando Castile case.

From the BBC:
“But Earl Gray, who was representing officer Yanez, told Reuters news agency “justice was done”.

“We’re very happy,” he said. “Yanez was innocent. He was just doing his job.”

However, Officer Yanez will not be returning to work for the City of St Anthony police department.

A statement on the city’s website said it had “concluded that the public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city”.”

Did you catch that?

…”Best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city,” so says the city of St. Anthony police department.

If Officer Yanez was “in fear for his life,” as was claimed by his attorney, why is it “best served if Yanez is no longer a police officer?”

And further, why, if Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter, was he found guilty of “an illegal discharge of his gun?”

Who Was Philando Castile?

Philando Castile was an upstanding member of his community. He was a single father raising a 4-year-old daughter. He was well-liked by friends, family and his co-workers.

Philando Castile

Meme created by My Kid’s Food Allergies and used with permission.

Additionally, Philando Castile worked in a school cafeteria and was known to remember the food allergies of every child in the school. Nobody asked him to do this … he just did it because he cared.

When the “routine” traffic stop occurred (code for DWB), Castille had his 4-year-old daughter in the car. She had to see her father be killed by someone whose account of the situation vastly differs from those of witnesses and the person Castille was.

Who speaks for Philando Castille? Who sees to it that his daughter isn’t traumatized for the rest of her life?

Philando Castile

Protesters hold sign begging for justice for Philando Castile. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Left with our anger, grief and feeling of powerlessness, what else can we do but take it to the streets? It’s a system that is stacked against PoC.

What do you recommend? I’d love to hear suggestions. In the meantime, our hearts go out to the family of Philando Castile, in particular his mother Valerie Castile and his daughter.

In addition to being the founders of Multiracial Media, both Sarah and Alex are writers and opinionated ones at that. They like to write about many topics, including: politics (encompassing issues on race, gender, the LGBTQ—U.S. and geopolitics), current events (which could, of course, encompass politics), pop culture, culture and many, many others. The Letter from the Editor may cover our thoughts on current events or on-gonig issues that are important to the Multiracial Community. You never know what we’re going to write about and it may even include some humor, since Alex is a stand-up comic.

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Published on: June 17, 2017

Filed Under: Letter from the Editor, Voices of the Community

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