A frequent refrain I hear as I travel the country is that the problems of American racism, bigotry and police brutality aren’t actually getting worse — that social media is simply amplifying old problems, making them more visible, giving us the false impression that matters are getting worse when they aren’t.
This is a lie. It’s an urban legend. It’s not based on any data or research or interviews, but a fundamental denial that we live in a valley of racism and bigotry in America. And it’s getting worse. – Shaun King ‘Racism, bigotry and brutality are getting worse in America…’ Thursday, August 25th
New Rochelle — A Black Lives Matter march was organized in New Rochelle Sunday afternoon, August 7th. The march began at City Hall and concluded at the Ruby Dee Park at the city’s public library. The march was organized by a group of New Rochelle High School students who set up a GoFundMe page to get the march off the ground.
Despite that Black Lives Matter of New Rochelle publicly thanked the New Rochelle Police Department for protecting them and being supportive and respectful, a New Rochelle Police Officer Chris “Stigs” Castiglia went on a rant about having to protect BLM… ‘while they exercise their First Amendment Right to protest us.’
While it’s clear Black Lives Matter was talking about the officers who have killed unarmed black men around the country, it is interesting that Stigs had a reason to include himself in those officers who take lives of unarmed black males because he wrote, ‘to protest us’ on his Facebook page.
BLM is not the anti-police group the media and law enforcement agencies make them out to be but they are standing up to police killings of unarmed black men with no remorse or form of punishment being bestowed on said officers.
Castiglia who took an oath to serve in protect the residents in the City of New Rochelle went on a Facebook rant a month earlier, telling blacks who protest police brutality, “Don’t call the police when your world is in disarray to help deal with the worst 10 minutes of your life, figure it out yourself or better yet call Shaun King and Black lives Matter for help…”
No suspension, no word from the media, no backlash from the community, it’s like it didn’t happen at all!
“Breaking down barriers of distrust between police and the community is not a one-sided affair,” New Rochelle Councilman Jared Rice tells BW. “We’ve made great strides in the last year with our Youth and Police Initiative but there is much more work to do. Ultimately I would like to see New Rochelle implement effective racial sensitivity training for our police department so that we can avoid incidents such as these in the future.”
Mount Vernon — This public disdain for Black Lives Matter from white police officers is not exclusive to the NRPD, Mount Vernon Police Officer Rick Castihano posted the BLM logo with the words Burglary Laceny Murder which is totally disrespectful to the BLM Movement who have been holding peaceful protest nationwide to bring attention to the killing of unarmed black men at the hands of the police.
“Mount Vernon Police Department should be the torchlight for addressing racial bias after a black officer in their own rank and file was killed off-duty by uniform officers while trying to make an arrest in what was labeled friendly fire,” Damon K. Jones of BLEA said in a statement. “As National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Professionals, if Black Lives don’t matter in our community, then how can the black lives of Black Law Enforcement matter to our white counterparts.”
What we find most egregious is the silence of mainstream media of the invidious Facebook post of members two separate police departments in lower Westchester as they rushed to report about the Mount Vernon firefighter who allegedly posted his support of the gunman who killed the Dallas police officers.
Eyewitness News reported; Mount Vernon Firefighter Suspended After Allegedly Posting Support of Dallas Gunman, The Journal News/ Lohud’s headline read; Firefighter suspended for posts backing Dallas cop killer, CBS News reported; Mount Vernon Firefighter Suspended Over Comments Lauding Dallas Cop Killer, News 12 reported; Mount Vernon firefighter’s Instagram post sparks outrage, just to point out a few. Not even a peep from local newspaper The Mount Vernon Inquirer.
Yet these same news outlets, nor any other local or mainstream media formats jotted or uttered a word about the White Westchester police officers who disrespected the Black Lives Matter movement. To further bring the point home, as far as we know neither officers was suspended for their Facebook post, yet Mount Vernon Fire Lt. Omar Lanier was suspended without pay and could lose his job. Better yet why was their nothing reported by the mainstream and or local media when NYPD officer Castiglia told African-Americans don’t call me when you’re in trouble call BLM.
We waited weeks, to not jump the gun but once again it appears that neither Black Lives nor the Black Lives Matter movement obvious do not matter to the mainstream media. This uneven reporting when it comes to people of color is not acceptable as well as the double standard of suspending a firefighter for alleging supporting police killing and turning a blind eye to police officer’s disparaging remarks of those who stand up against police brutality, in the City of Mount Vernon. REAL TALK!!!!
Also see statement from Community Activist Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr.
Updated Tuesday, August 30th at 1:04 P.M.