No Doubt: The Murders of Oscar Grant
Trailer for "No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant" from Ida B. Wells Institute on Vimeo.
by Thandisizwe Chimurenga
Oscar Grant was murdered by a transit cop on a Bay Area subway platform before hundreds of witnesses. To enable his killer to go free, he had to be murdered again and again in the media and the courts. This book, coming in January, tells the story of these multiple murders.
No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant
by Thandisizwe Chimurenga
State-sanctioned violence, murder by police, and the ways in which police murder is shielded from accountability and justice are not new. No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant is an attempt to examine this phenomenon through the lens of one case, the trial of former Bay Area Rapid Transit Police officer Johannes Mehserle for the murder of 22-year old Oscar Grant.
On Jan. 1, 2009, Oscar Grant was murdered for the first time; he would be murdered by the media and by the courts soon thereafter. Every last one of Oscar's murderers has gotten away with this crime. Mehserle, the triggerman, spent a combined total of 12 months in jail, doing less time than Michael Vick (sentenced to 23 months; served approximately 20 months) for running an illegal dog-fighting ring, and Plaxico Burress (sentenced to 24 months; served approximately 21 months) for shooting himself in the leg.
Feminist thinker bell hooks has often described the United States as being a "white supremacist patriarchal state." Although Black women are by no means spared from state-sanctioned violence, hooks' analysis speaks to the reason why that violence is most often directed against Black male bodies. As a witness to the state-sanctioned violence that was done to Oscar Grant before and during the trial of his murderer, it is important that the story of Oscar Grant's multiple murders be told, as well as the voice of the witness.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett took on the project of documenting numerous instances of state-sanctioned violence and aggressively organizing against it - nationally and internationally - through her writings, oratory and coalition work. No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant will stand as both testament to that work and as an extension of it here in the 21st Century.
An Indiegogo fundraising campaign has been set-up to independently publish and internationally distribute No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant, similar to the work Wells-Barnett did in her day. We have until 11:59 pm on December 23rd to raise the needed funds. We are appealing to the national and international justice-loving community to see this work as something worthy of investing in - a symbol of its importance.
Link to Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign:
Thandisizwe Chimurenga is an award-winning, grassroots, community journalist based in Los Angeles, CA, and the founder of the Ida B. Wells Institute, which seeks to utilize old and new forms of media to Advocate Educate and Mobilize.