Wednesday, April 29, 2015

black lives matter. except when they are flawed. in any way.

black lives matter, roars the voice of a movement.

large portions of white america respond: no they don't!

not if they were wearing the wrong article of clothing (trayvon martin's hooded sweatshirt), had a previous rap sheet (freddie gray), a warrant for child support payment delinquency (walter scott), had ever smoked pot, was walking in the street, had been suspended from school, was taller and bigger than average (automatically incriminating evidence to many white people of a generalized guiltiness), was selling loose cigarettes, was running away, was disrespectful, was carrying a toy gun, was the sister of a kid carrying a toy gun (yes, tamir rice's 14 year old sister was tackled by police after her little brother was gunned down). and on and on.

in short, the message is: unless the dead man was a paragon of virtue who never so much as spit bubble gum onto the sidewalk, even in rough neighborhoods where looking like a nice kid is to invite victimization, their life was not worth much.

surely not worth the trouble to figure out a different way to approach the situation than aggressively attacking. not worth thinking about a better way to do things. apparently, if one is black and has ever made any mistakes, small or large, one forfeits one's right to being treated as a human.

the movement hears these responses loud and clear. and rather than shutting down the movement, they only confirm what the movement is saying. which is that to most of america, black lives do not matter. all that digging for dirt to spread over the dead man's name is simply a thin attempt to justify the violence done to them.

but if white americans found that being suspended for school, talking back to a police officer, walking in the street, not paying for child support, wearing suspicious clothing, etc etc, was sufficient to be gunned down (or, as with gray, deliberately given a 'rough ride' while cuffed and without seat belts), i predict everyone would join the movement.

so far, since white people rarely have to face such brutality, it is 'better you than me.' being black means deserving a nasty end, since living in rough neighborhoods, there is always some dirt, some scrape, some skeletons to be dug up to justify the end of murder.

but even pot smokers, jay walkers, ex-cons, cigarette peddlers, men too big and tall and scary, and suspended students are loved. by someone.

i'm white. but i'm part of the movement. because no american should have to live in a police state. i wouldn't want it. so why wish it on anyone else? i don't care if they smoked pot or walked in the street or made me feel nervous because they were big. they are humans, and they should have the right to be treated as such.

No comments: