Jacob Jr., Jacob Sr.
When tragedies like the one involving Jacob Blake occur, I generally don’t watch the viral cell phone videos of the incident. What I have to be careful of, though, is not to ignore the incident altogether. That would be a mistake.
It is heartbreaking Jacob Blake was unnecessarily shot multiple times by a Kenosha police officer, but still many have found the relationship between Jacob Blake and his father inspiring. The 29-year-old Blake, who miraculously survived, is now recovering in a hospital, so, naturally, we can’t hear from him directly, but we can hear from his father. Because of the obvious bond they have, hearing from Jacob’s father, also named Jacob, is almost as good as hearing from Jacob himself. His father humanizes him, which unfortunately does not always happen for every victim of tragedies such as these.
Again, their relationship is touching. We’re inspired by the fact once Jacob’s father heard of his son’s shooting, he did not hesitate to make the drive from Charlotte, NC to Wisconsin to see him in the hospital.
Fathers Are a Protection
Their relationship matters because, when these incidents occur, the proponents of systemic racism rush to come up with justifications for the atrocity. They’ll say things like, “He had a knife,” which after any amount of analysis still does not justify the use of excessive force. If any trained officer has a firearm and a “suspect” has a knife, all the trained officer has to do is hold the knife-wielding suspect at gunpoint while telling him to put down the knife.
If you think the relationship between Jacob Jr. and Sr. is inspiring, you’ll probably also be impressed with Jacob Jr.’s grandfather. The Rev. Jacob Blake Sr. (Yes, his name was also Jacob) was an activist for affordable housing in Evanston and pastored the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1967 to 1976.
And so activism runs deep in the Blake family. Who would have thought?
Jacob Blake handcuffed to hospital bed, father says. https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/8/27/21404463/jacob-blake-father-kenosha-police-shooting-hospital-bed-handcuffs. Last accessed: 8/30/2020.
Jacob Blake’s father says son’s paralyzed from waist down after police shooting in Kenosha. https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/8/25/21400481/jacob-blake-kenosha-police-shooting-riots-evanston. Last accessed: 8/30/2020.