When the NBA, WNBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB teams peacefully protested against police brutality and racial injustice, a restaurant near me closed for a day “in solidarity with those who are using their profession to draw attention toward injustice. . .”
In response to this small step in my community’s journey toward truth and reconciliation, some people stood their white supremacist ground like it was their full time on-line job. The vitriol, lies, and deflection were timeless.
If a police officer says stop, you stop. Then you don’t get shot.
I have personally read hundreds of police reports alleging disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in this predominantly-is-an-understatement white community. I have prosecuted and I have defended white suburban kids who run from cops into the woods. I have arraigned and represented drunk driving and disorderly white golfers who resist arrest, spitting and screaming that they’ll have the officers’ badge.
If you deserved to get shot for not following commands, this place would be littered with bodies decked out in Vineyard Vines.
The biggest problem my very busy commenting neighbors had with this particular act of solidarity by the Mexican Restaurant, is that the restaurant is supporting a kidnapping child rapist.
Starting from a place of believing women, let’s say that Jacob Blake digitally penetrated his adult ex-girlfriend without her consent, in May, even though he hasn’t been convicted. We know that she reported it in May, and that the DA’s office decided to charge him in July and issued a warrant for his arrest in July. We have no idea if he even knew about the warrant. Either way, Jacob Blake is not a child rapist with gun convictions evading the police. He’s just not.
BUT EVEN IF HE WAS, you don’t shoot unarmed people in the back, in violation of your own lethal force policy. Split second balancing act, I know. Fear that Mr. Blake might not get into the car with his waiting 3, 5, and 8 year old (not-kidnapped) kids; that he might reach in, get a weapon and turn around all QuickDraw McGraw, and stab or shoot the officer.
Competing with this natural impulse to protect himself is the officer’s valuation of life, Black life. How calm can he stay, how brave can he be, how long can he wait, how much does he care about Mr. Blake or those kids? The weight given these elements depend on variables that are not limited to, but most certainly include, the socialization, the racialization, and the neuropathways made for the ganglion and dendrones or whatever the fuck they are to fire or receive in response to various stimuli. Also known as unconscious biases.
Zoom out with me for a minute. It’s pretty universally accepted that backstabbing/backshooting is not cool. Also, that Black people are ridiculously disproportionately likely to be shot and brutalized by police than White people. This is, by the way, different than saying “ all cops hate Black people.”
Different. Not the same.
Even if you deny overt intentional discrimination by an individual officer, you understand that there is overly overt racial disparity in the impact of policing and criminal justice, right?
Those are things. Which must be called things.
The comments call those things other things. They disparage and deny white ability to respond; white responsibility. They distract from the empathy and compassion humans feel when witnessing injustice, and we the white people are more than happy for the distraction.
Sarcasm: “*applause*. . . you have fixed racism”.
Deflection. Designed to discourage people from doing anything for fear it will not be good enough. Which reminds me: if you are a white consumer of basketball, and listened to Doc Rivers cry, and said one word about players selling out their “boycott” – practice shutting the fuck up. Quietly kneeling doesn’t seem so disruptive now, does it?
Next, “Say Ca____n Hi_____nts name!” I can’t even bring myself to spell it out because the family of the murdered five year old white boy has asked that his name NOT be used in this racist context. That little boy was killed by a civilian who went straight to prison. What would you like protested? Gun violence? Sign me up for the next event on your busy anti-violence activist agenda. You want there to be anti-murder rallies?
Listen, if a five year old white child was murdered by a police officer who was not immediately arrested, every Karen in America would hit the streets. And if you’re so fired up about a lack of outrage over the execution of children, how ‘bout you throw up a meme for Aiyana Stanley-Jones or Tamir Rice.
Black on Black crime!
You’re a Nazi. No, you’re a Nazi. No, you.