Sunday mid morning I was awaken to the sounds of frantic chatter coming from the television. Of no surprise my father had CNN on in which he quickly informed me of yet another shooting in Baton Rouge. Unfortunately police officers were the victims in this situation. As the story progresses we learn that 3 officers were killed and 3 were wounded. Reporters went back and forth disclosing confusing information regarding the number of shooters involved. But eventually on Monday Governor John Bel Edwards identified Gavin Long as the primary shooter. Short clips of the shooting can be seen here.
Here is a little information the media gave us about Gavin Long.
- He was from Kansas City and was honorably discharged from the Marines as a sergeant in 2010.
- On social media platforms he described himself as a nutritionist, personal trainer, life coach, dietician, author and spiritual advisor.
- He had a YouTube channel and wrote 3 books under the pseudonym Cosmo Setepenra.
- He used to be affiliated with the nation of Islam.
- Based on emails and YouTube videos he has been portrayed as violent and having a strange mind.
- He purposely came to Louisiana to kill law enforcement.
Before all of Gavin Longs videos were taken off of social media, I had the opportunity to watch one. Not once did he come off as a radical, black man with mental health issues that was formally in the military, like the media has\ will label him. He was just extremely pro-black; he had the mentality of black activists before him, which was to help and uplift the black community. He was trying to teach resilience along with standing up for what is right. So of course anything PRO-BLACK is perceived to be violent, radical and non-American.
Here are some quotes from the daily beast taken from a YouTube video, in which Gavin alluded to what would happen if he were to get taken away by police, here are his words:
“Yeah, I was also a Nation of Islam member, I’m not affiliated with them,” he said. “They try to put you with ISIS or some other terrorist group. No. I’m affiliated with the spirit of justice.
“I just want everyone to know that if anything may happen to me or with me, I am NOT affiliated with anybody, any group, nationality, association, religion, corporation, business, etc,” Setepenra said. “Yes I am apart of many, groups, businesses, and even a different nationality (Sovereign) but I am not affiliated. I Just want to make this crystal clear.”
“Also If you guys have time, I have videos on my youtube channels that you guys can save to your computer just in case anything happens,” Setepenra continued. “Because of course the mainstream news loves to assassinate the righteous Mans character.”
I immediately raised questions about this whole identification process. First, how did they go from three shooters to possibly one shooter? Secondly, “witnesses” said they saw Gavin Long stealthily walking down the street with a rifle and all black attire, including a facemask. How did witnesses identify him if he had a mask on? Thirdly, how did the Governor or any government official know he specifically came to Louisiana to kill officers?
For me, those are questions that need to be answered. This whole situation made me question whether the government purposely accused Mr. Long of such a catastrophic event. Was he singled out for his pro-blackness on all forms of social media and also for formally being in the military, which would mean he was trained to kill? FYI the government tracks any and everything you post on social media, so if they feel like you’re radical, you’re more than likely on their high priority check list. I personally feel like those aspects of Mr. Longs life, along with the fact that he was in Baton Rouge at the time, made him an easy target for this crime to be placed upon. However, if this was not a staged plot fueled by government officials, Mr. Long was more than likely mentally and emotionally exhausted like the rest of the black community. Therefore, he thought it would be in his best interest to take matters into his own hands. Although violence and retaliation are never the right methods of action, a community can only take so much before they revolt like the late Nat Turner.
I feel like the government and media always try to negatively change the narratives of the black community to continually perpetuate known stigmas in order to discredit one race and uplift another. I know I’m playing devils advocate, but that’s my personal opinion. Regardless of whether he committed the crime or not, the whole situation is unacceptable. Innocent lives were taken for unknown reasons. All family members of the parties involved are in my prayers. These stories are like a broken record that seem all too familiar, maybe one day we will be one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.