The unbearable burden of being black in America is a feeling and truth that white America works hard to marginalize, ignore and relegate to the “myth” bin of human experience. By devaluing our humanity and rendering it negotiable, it facilitates the institutionalized, systematic brutalization of Black people. The most violent manifestation of this brutalization, is the state sanctioned murder of Black people, by police officers, who, when captured on video killing unarmed and non-aggressive black men, are rarely punished at all.
- Happy Moment For Alton Sterling
This week’s murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile may have been the moment where the rubber met the road and unfortunately is a moment that can’t be walked back, as it yielded retribution assassinations of Dallas police, which can be the spark that detonates this country from the inside.
Quite frankly, if a police officer has to use deadly force in situations where deadly force is not needed, then that police officer is a failure at their very difficult job. It’s a dangerous occupation, but training, intelligence and protocol is supposed to differentiate a professional police officer from a yahoo with a badge and a gun, who knows that on the other side of pumping murderous bullets into an unarmed black man, is paid administrative leave and a well funded indiegogo campaign to finance their legal defense team.
When the fear of black skin is so deep and palatable, that a cop resorts to shooting innocent, unarmed, or non-confrontational black people, then that person should not be a cop; like a surgeon who’s repulsed by blood and guts or has shaky hands.
- Initially, I couldn’t watch the live stream video of police point blank killing of Mr. Castile, because it was so graphic and hurt so much.
Yes, his name is Mr. Castile, which is what his co-workers and students called him at the J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, where he was a nutrition services supervisor, helping to feed 400 hundred kids every day. He worked for the St. Paul School, Minnesota school system since 2002 and became a supervisor in 2014, you know, working his way up just like you’re supposed to do. He was also part of Teamsters Local 202, you know, a union guy, just like the cop that murdered him, as he was reaching for his wallet, as instructed.
Then the the Dallas sniper attack happened, and as I’m writing, it’s five police officers killed and seven wounded and suspects have been taken into custody and one, Micah Xavier Johnson, has been killed with a police bomb robot. Such a devastating tragedy has a devastating resonance, as children lose their fathers, women lose husbands and families have loved ones taken away far too early.
An attack on random law enforcement does not bode well for the very black neighborhoods where police are needed the most. The aftermath of the shooting of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were assassinated by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, back in 2014, was the police enacting a work slow down, which caused crime to spike in several neighborhoods, as police enforcement nearly came to a standstill.
- Cops In Dallas After Shooting
The conflict is that where the police are needed the most, they are also criminally abusive to residents, which leads to a deep mistrust between the communities and the police department.
Though honestly, I can’t let that tragedy hi-jack my pain and I’m sorry if that sounds callous. We’ve been brutalized by nonstop assault since chattel slavery. We’ve been killed for no reason, had our families disrespected, our children subjected to viewing our murders and that’s just this week.
Ironically, since celebrating the birth of the nation at the top of the week, we’ve seen nothing but brutality, bloodshed and tragedy… kinda like the birth of the nation.
Will this get the ball rolling on addressing police violence? Hopeful so, because in a country where guns are everywhere and cops routinely brutalize black people and are not penalized, retaliation shootings against law enforcement can easily surge.
And I know that would be bad for everybody.