Friends, I’d like to chat with you about some things that I have recently noticed.
Before I begin, allow me to warn you in advance that you may or may not agree with any of my observations.
That’s alright with me.
But, hopefully, after you read this, we will still be able to maintain a high level of mutual respect; even if we have opposing points of view.
In my mind, that is one of the hallmarks of civility; don’t you think?
Let me start by saying that I strongly believe that we ALL matter. Every single one of us.
However, based on several past and present events, I’ve noticed that some people do not agree with me. Sadly, I have no choice but to draw this conclusion based on the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile; not to mention Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and so on…
To be blunt, I’ve noticed that, to some folks, we, as Black people, don’t matter much at all.
Assuming that this is the case, some of us have felt compelled to respond by attempting to validate or reiterate our value. Unfortunately, others have intentionally decided to misrepresent this validation in order to advance an agenda that is racially divisive.
To be clear, if I were to say to you, “Black lives matter,” recognize that I am NOT saying “ONLY Black lives matter;” I am saying that “Black lives matter TOO.”
To be honest, I don’t even know why I feel the need to clarify that point. Frankly, I find it ridiculous that I, or anyone else, would need to convince another human being that we all have the same intrinsic value?
Are we not an advanced civilization?
Anyway, I’ve also noticed another troubling phenomenon.
In essence, I have observed the tendency for some folks to attempt to deflect attention away from any conversation about the staggering number of deadly interactions between police officers and Black people by pointing to so-called “Black on Black crime.” They do this in order to imply that Black people are not as concerned when a Black person is murdered by another Black person. How ludicrous is that? To be fair, the next question should be, “Why are you concerned about ‘Black on Black crime?’ Are you working to fix it?”
If the answer is, “No,” then the follow-up statement has to be, in the words of Jesse Williams, “Then, sit down.”
To be honest, in most cases, I don’t expect that the answer will be “Yes.”
Now, before I proceed with my next point I’d like to stress the fact that most people are more likely to be murdered by someone that they know or interact with on a regular basis. That said, Blacks tend to kill more Blacks and Whites tend to kill more Whites and Asians tend to kill more Asians and so on and so forth.
Suffice it to say, we, as Americans, have a major problem with violence –across the board.
With that in mind, I would ask folks to resist the temptation to engage in conversational trickery, and, instead, I’d ask that they take a moment to think more compassionately about what happens to entire families and communities when a police officer, or anyone else, decides to use unnecessary deadly force against another human being.
To bring it home, folks should ask themselves :
What would I do if Philando Castile took good care of my autistic child? How would I explain his death? Why am I even HAVING to explain his death?
Finally, I’ve noticed that many of us are quick to paint all law enforcement officers with a broad and negative brush stroke –without considering the fact that they have a VERY tough job to do and they are often undertrained and overworked. To be sure, that’s the kind of thinking that led to the tragic murders of several police officers in Dallas.
It should be noted that I have a special regard for law enforcement; both my father and brother worked in that field.
Anyway, instead of complaining, we need to be sure to vote for folks who will insure that the right people are selected to say the oath and carry the badge. Clearly, not everybody is cut out for such a demanding and stressful career. Trust me, we will continue to see more and more abuse of power cases if we don’t start vetting law enforcement officers more closely.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to deal with a short tempered simple-minded ass bully carrying a glock.
In addition, once officers are properly vetted and hired, higher-ups need to teach them how to, for example, de-escalate a volatile situation; we all know that it can be done. Sadly, it seems that de-escalation is more likely to happen when the suspect is NOT Black or Brown.
I’m just sayin!
By the way, it is not lost on me that some police officers have a tendency to ESCALATE an otherwise manageable situation. Again, proper law enforcement training is critical to a relatively peaceful outcome.
Ok, I’ve had my say. And to be brutally honest, it took me a few days to calm down before I wrote this post. I didn’t want to run everybody off! LOL!
Please believe that your girl was pissed the fuck off! But I am a little better now so I’ll go ahead and move on.
But before I go, let me warn you, those of us who refuse to get our act together and move forward in a loving and positive way will find ourselves in a state of extinction. No system can maintain itself with this level of insanity.
So, I know what I gotta do.
What about you?