8.7.16

Musing: In the wake of Dallas

I wish I could say I can't believe we're at this place again, but it's all too easy to believe.  Love may have no bounds, but neither does hate.  It festers, breeds, and ends lives.  So again, I'm not giving you a review, or a light-hearted post.  Come back tomorrow.  Again, I'm going to say something that someone needs to say.  And then you can listen to Trevor Noah, who says it better than I can.

"You can be pro-cop and pro-black." It doesn't seem so radical, but many people have a difficult time accepting this. You can support law enforcement in general, but acknowledge that there are problems in policing that must be fixed, because they are resulting in the unnecessary deaths of black (and white) people. PEOPLE. You can be enraged over the deaths of officers in Dallas (and you should be, because those men and women were people, they were protecting citizens, and they were cruelly gunned down by a man with malice in his heart and a sniper rifle in his hands) and at the same time be enraged over the deaths of unarmed black men. This doesn't have to be a competition. The point is--we can be enraged over ALL loss of human life. We should be. Why do we not protest the sniping of these officers? Because it was the work of one or two men. Because the suspects who remain alive WILL be tried, convicted, and sentenced to long prison terms. If you think someone needs to protest, protest the fact that someone who wants to kill officers can go buy a sniper rifle. Why do we protest the deaths of these black men? Because they keep happening. And even though they keep happening, there have not been significant nationwide efforts to change police training, to change the way police deescalate situations, to change the fact that an officer can have 20 complaints for excessive force and racial bias and still be out on the beat with a gun. I applaud the efforts many officers have already taken (including Dallas, where they have started to make changes in deescalation tactics, transparency, body cameras, etc.) but until those changes are standard, until black people are no longer killed by police at a rate disproportionate to both their presence in the population AND their rates of crime commission, then I will still be outraged. I will still demand change. And I will still have room in my heart to mourn and regret the losses of other humans, including police officers.




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