Thursday, June 09, 2011
(picture courtesy of Jim Witmer, Dayton Daily news)
SWAT: Oppression at it's best
A few weeks ago in Dayton, Ohio, a business owner's store and mosque was raided by the Dayton SWAT. I won't lie. I expected to hear the news discuss how this mosque was connected to some radical cleric. No, my eurocentric brainwashed mind was not given that idea. Instead, Imam Al-Idu Al-Gaheem was being served a warrant for food stamp fraud. Whether Gaheem is guilty or not is the issue. I am trying to understand why the Dayton SWAT team was sent into businesses and a mosque in the center of a black community. My youngest attends a school a few blocks down from these businesses.
My question is, why are we seeing a more consistent use of SWAT teams for the most minute charges? Gaheem was issued a warrant. Isn't a sherriff supposed to present this warrant. While it is true that Gaheem was accused of food stamp fraud before, it still does not call for the use of a SWAT team. After spending thousands of dollars on man power and equipment no charges have been filed although all of Gaheem's businesses are closed. That raises more questions.
I ask anyone to come to Dayton, Ohio particularly within the city limits. There are very few businesses there. It is virtually a food dessert as we have to travel to get healthy foods. Gaheem owns several grocery stores in this community. Now they are closed. This raises more questions. Unfortunately, the local media has not raised those questions.
I am sure that much of it has to do with othering. Even I got caught up in that. When I heard mosque, I thought the worst even though I drive by that mosque everyday and people greet me like family each time. I have visited Gaheem's stores on several occasions and have been treated like a customer who has been around for years.
SWAT teams are being used excessively ever since their inception. Please don't believe the hype. The movie white washes their history. When it comes to black and brown folk, they have been used as tools of oppression in almost all instances. While the case in Dayton, Ohio with Gaheem is a clear example of this, no one is raising questions.