Fine, I’ll dive into this mess.
I’m going to tell you what I think about an explosion of stories about black people…unarmed black people getting shot and killed. We’re starting to see people respond by shooting the police and killing them off.
I don’t think…
Well, look, I’m a brown male in his 20’s. It would appear I’m in the dead zone for my race and gender. My interaction with the police is limited and…sigh…positive.
I also have an uncle who is a police officer. People like him are stuck in the middle: He’s a cop; but he’s black. People expect him to pick a side; it’s a shame. He knows, as well as I do, there are good cops.
We can even say there are a LOT more good cops than bad.
Shooting an unarmed man (black men have been the primary known victims so that’s what I’ll use) is…well, it’s obviously bad. But why?
Policemen are only supposed to shoot…take lethal force if they themselves are attacked. In this case, if shots are fired upon them, and the lives of the officers are at high risk, then they are allowed to “return the favor”.
Problem is, cops should not be willing to do this. They should not be seeking to use their weapon. It’s a worst case scenario.
Let’s back up here: Killings of black people has been a problem for decades. This ain’t new. The only thing that is new is that the country, for the most part, actually sees black people as actual people. This story 60 or 70 years ago wouldn’t be a story.
Social media allows many people to catch these news as it happens. Videos from camera phones play a role in documentation. I don’t know the statistics; but I would venture to say perhaps our exposure is greater more than the actual number of shootings.
Alright, worst case scenario. When you’re taking this drastic approach as the first thing to do, it actually makes me wonder what in your mind would lead you to believe this is the best approach. I wanna know something; I wanna know why.
So, let’s talk about it.
- Policemen are racists. This is the leading belief. Racist bastards. You can’t argue this one too well…sort of. As always, the media is in charge of what you know. They tell you the story. Do they lie? Eeeeh…I think it’s more of they don’t tell you everything. I’m willing to bet there are plenty of shootings of unarmed white people but we won’t see that at 6 pm.
- Aggressive, trigger happy. This is another option. It could be combined with the first reason. These guys signed up to shoot first and ask questions later. They want the Hollywood shootout. Die Hard. All of that. The biggest hole in this reason is that all of the training you have to do to get to wear the badge (and I learned from my uncle) would probably weed out people who want to easily attain such a…dream.
- They could be scared. Alright look, nobody is going to side with me if you side with the first reason. We might have people who lose it in the moment. Nervous on the job. Thought they saw something. Training to do something, and then going out into the field to actually do it are two different things.
In all of those scenarios, one thing is constant: The shootings are inexcusable. You should pay the price for the actions taken.
Police officers who do this…from a racial perspective, are terrible. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way right now. Awful people.
Alright, let me look at the retaliation.
When I started hearing police officers were getting picked off, I was actually stunned. Here’s the thing: Policemen may be evil, but being stupid is bad news too.
We can talk about the “taking matters into our own hands” thing. Let’s talk about it. If law enforcement is corrupted, this means, likely, you will lose any legal battle with them. I get it. Once we get a taste of the dirty cop, we throw the whole unit out.
I know I’d feel that way. Oh yeah, man. I’d seriously consider doing things my way if I lost a sister or parent or someone close to me. Yup, yup. Ultimately, I probably wouldn’t do anything. I also happen to trust God and His justice but that’s another story.
The anger. The pain. The frustration. It’s all valid. Will anybody defend my race? Will anybody help us? “We have a black president.” Really? Don’t let him be wearing a hoodie in the hood. So don’t give me that.
But, what needs to be understood is that the actions taken will damn you. You’re going to hate reading this but you’re going to have to turn the other cheek, here. Otherwise, continue to fight via the legal channels.
So, what do I actually think? Like…I wrote all of this stuff and I said the “right” thing but I didn’t tell you how I personally feel about it.
First off, I am now officially scared. I don’t own any weapons and I’m not a fighter. If I get pulled over, will my broken tail light get me killed? (It’s not currently out) What kind of world is that? I have a clean record. I have not done anything and I’ll just be killed.
I’m scared for my mind. I can feel myself slipping. I mean, my viewpoint of white police officers (who are the general shooters) shifts occasionally to dislike. Not hate. Just disgust. Yet, I overall still believe in the good in people today. But yeah, I’m slipping.
I am growing numb. That’s a problem. I’m hearing more and more about it; I’m entering a place where I don’t care. Just a flush of the toilet.
I am frustrated. I want this to go away. I want us to stop this growing war. It’s really disturbing.
That’s how I feel. I’ll tell you what I don’t feel.
I don’t feel hate. There is no hate at this point in time.
I don’t hate anybody.
All whites…most whites…I don’t believe they are racists. Lovers of stereotypes? Sure. But not racists. There is a difference. Stereotypes may or may not be racist. Like, black people being “bigger”. Some stereotypes are true and others are not.
Our police force is corrupt beyond repair. I don’t believe this. I still think only a small fraction is the problem. It’s a VERY serious problem; but the number of people doing it is smaller than you think. I have no stats; just gut.
That’s it. Look, this blog is called “Dante’s Optimism” for a reason: I tend and try to be optimistic about everything. I don’t always. But let’s get one thing straight: Optimism is not the disregard of the negative. Optimism is the positive outlook despite the negative. I completely acknowledge all of this crap and decide how I react to it.
You have that same chance. What you honestly believe will rise up when things like this happen. What do you believe about this? Is there hope? When will the peace come?
I’m not going to answer that because only you can. I can tell you to try to look at it from a positive standpoint.
Also, and this is going to be very hard, but be the bigger person. My fellow brown people will have to continue to carry themselves in a dignified, self controlled manner. That’s right. That’s all we can do. There is no sense in making things worse.
Everybody is on edge at this point. That’s the worse place to be. The smallest thing now will be an explosion. It’s like walking in a minefield. This is a nightmare of a situation.
Do your part, though to diffuse the situation. Don’t be afraid to help others. Continue to stand up for justice and peace. For what is right. Then, let’s see things get better.