What world am I living in? I have to ask myself that question. This isn’t the world that any of us certainly thought of at age 5. Nope. I didn’t think of it the way it is now until middle school or high school. Certainly not in elementary school. But alas, today’s world isn’t the world of the 1970’s. Or in my siblings cases, the 60’s or the 40’s when my mom was born.
I sat at my dinner table last night with my wife, Phyllis. We talked about the taking of the lives of young black men and women. How or why it still happens and what the hell is going on. I told her it’s been this way since the country was founded. She asked me what we would do if perhaps later on Abby was out on a date with a young black man and they were stopped. I told her it would only happen once by a local PD. I would be infuriated if they stopped them for no reason other than harassment. Infuriated enough that I’d find a good attorney and a cop would need to find a new job.
We talked for what seemed an hour last night at our table. We went back and forth about how times had changed, over what we’ve witnessed in our life, how our friends have been affected. I spent no less than 25 minutes yesterday crying to myself and then to her when she got home about my best friend, who is black and his son, and my fear that he was going to end up being a statistic. Then near the end of our talk, she asked me what was going to stop it all. I told her that I thought unfortunately it was going to boil down to a few things potentially. One thing that needed to change is that white superiority complexes need to be driven out. Out of law enforcement, government including but not limited to Congress and out of the judicial system. All this bullshit about “it’s a known fact blacks…” is a crock. If you’d been brought to a country your ass didn’t want to be in with chains on and sold and beaten and killed for centuries on end as a race, your ass would be mad as hell too. Have you ever thought we need to stop looking for reasons to incarcerate them? Look no further than California where a white guy rapes a girl and gets a minimum sentence in jail but a black man does the same and gets 3 years.
Beyond that, police in certain places have come to the point whereby they believe they are above the law. Look no further than the City of Greensboro, NC where I grew up a few years back. The scandal involving the white police chief of that city and what he did was horrible. Look at other cities whereby profiling is taught in their academies. Yes, it happens.
I then told my wife about the only other thing that might bring about change is a severe reaction displayed through the taking of police lives. Little did I know that an hour later Dallas, TX would be under siege by snipers taking the lives of 5 police officers. Injuring several others, including bystanders who were marching for peace. For truth and understanding between the black community and the police. For the rights of those who had already lost their lives at the hands of overzealous police officers this week and this year.
I did not know about Dallas until this morning when I woke up. My day started again with the learning of a shooting. My thought now after reading ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX and the Wall Street Journal is this: All headlines are reading that 5 police officers were killed and others were injured. They are all saying in their stories it was all done in retaliation to black lives being taken this week by police officers. They all are saying 3 suspects are in custody and one was blown up. Yes, blown up. Apparently they sent the bomb robot in to blow up a suspect who wouldn’t give up. Interesting that a tool that is used to help and prevent tragedies was used to further one. I guess they ran out of other options.
The other interesting fact I am noticing is that nowhere have I seen this called a mass shooting. At all. Is that because those killed were cops? Is it because the shooter killed and the suspects in custody are all black? Maybe I am looking at the wrong headlines or stories. I’ve seen people ask online in comment sections of these stories if this will get a discussion going on major gun control now? My thought is no, it won’t. You’ve taken the lives of 5 police officers and injured several others. But, they aren’t calling it a mass shooting. By this afternoon I saw a references to it, but not one based on the idea that it should be linked truly to gun control because again the gun was obtained by a normal and average person who even served his country.
We’ve seen several young black men and women lose their lives to police officers. Now we’ve seen retaliation. If someone in government doesn’t realize there is a problem, we are going to continue down a road that eventually is going to end up being a bloody massacre at once. We will end up with more situations and instances like last night. If someone doesn’t put an end to it peacefully, last night I fear is just the beginning.
There comes a time when too many instances of a few bad apples needs to make the farmer take a look at the farm and see what needs to be done to make sure the apples aren’t tainted and causing more problems for society.
I agree with my pastor, Derek, that stereotypes and generalizations need to be watched closely as they can kill friendships, society, churches, etc. However, as Dr. King said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Nobody is stepping up from both sides at the same time to fix the problem.
Until something happens, somewhere that forces these problems to be remedied, we will continue on this same path. As I saw a prominent civil activist and pastor post on their website today, we’ve been praying for decades. We’ve been trying for decades to do the right thing. At what point does what we are doing pay off? At one point does law enforcement realize that not a majority of blacks and persons of color or different nationalities are not all bad people just as when will society figure out all cops are not bad people.
However, a disproportionate number of black males are being basically executed. In Louisiana, video footage shows the gun being retrieved from the victim’s pocket by the police. In MN, the gun was never seen in the picture. The audio released from the local tv affiliate St. Paul today from the police scanners last night make it clear how the stop was conducted. There are better ways to handle these instances. It seems like instructors at police academies are failing in deescalation 101.
As for Dallas last night, violence begets violence. 5 lives were needlessly taken. However, the other side of this if you listen to the Chief of Police for Dallas is that the one sniper said he’d had enough and was going to take more lives and make whites pay. The way they ended that situation was to blow him up…with a robot with an explosive device. Yes, because that is going to go so much further to help fix this problem.
There is white privilege, that is white superiority and I am a firm believer that it is NOT getting any better. I have friends in Greensboro who are worried about letting their high school sons of color go to the mall alone. At what point do we say #EnoughisEnough ? I also read all the stories about why don’t we see an outcry when white citizens are shot or killed by police officers of any color? Quit simply put, there aren’t as many, it hasn’t been going on in a rampant style like this and it never unfolds the same.
It has to stop. If it doesn’t, it, like so many other instances of similar problems will engulf the country. Watts in California in the 60’s, Detroit in the 40’s, Newark in the 60’s, LA with Rodney King, Ferguson and Baltimore. They will continue to happen. Violence will continue to spread. The time is now.