Why is it that so many people – White people – look for ways to justify the shooting of Black suspects by White police officers? What does that say about our society? It only solidifies the reality of systemic racism in America.
People keep posting that Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI, had a knife and that's why police shot him. From the video it didn't look like he had anything in his hand when he was walking to his car, with the police behind him, guns drawn. And the investigation never found a knife or gun at the scene.
But let's say he did have a knife. His hands were at his sides, he wasn't in attack mode and he wasn't facing them. And even if he was reaching into his car to get a knife or a gun, he didn't turn around and try to attack them with it. They just yanked his shirt while he was bending over, where they couldn't even see what he was doing, and then started shooting.
There are a lot of ifs here. But none of them justify shooting a man seven times in the back. Police are quick to say they shoot because they feel threatened. White people (yes it's only White people that seem to make this argument) want to justify Jacob Blake being shot because he had a knife, without doing any research to see if it was true because they heard it from one of their friends or picked it up on social media.
It proves that many people will go to any lengths to ignore the problem of racial profiling and injustice to defend their White privilege attitudes. The attitude is that Black men and women should just bow down to police no matter the situation, when they know full well that if they did the same thing they would get away unscathed.
Pulled over for speeding while Black, when you weren’t actually speeding, with no record in the system when they run your plates, you’re supposed to just get out of the car and get on the ground while they point their loaded weapon at you. And if you don't do it fast enough, they’ll shoot you and say they were threatened -- even though you were complying and had no weapon.
Complying or not, even given an opportunity to comply, doesn’t save your life. Ask Breonna Taylor. Oh wait, you can’t. She’s dead.
Jaime Harrison, a Black man running to unseat South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham, tells a story of how he bought a new car and was pulled over on an interstate by a state patrol officer who claimed he threw something at his police car. He had not. His car had run over an object in the road that kicked up and struck the police car’s windshield. Harrison feared for his life, but managed to defuse the situation without incident. When White people get pulled over their immediate thought is not how to get out of this situation without being killed.
This is the reality of being Black in America.
Not all cops have the potential to act like the ones who killed George Floyd and shot Jacob Blake. The fact that it keeps happening repeatedly shows there is something wrong with how they train and psychologically screen police to weed out the good from the bad before they hit the streets. Address the root cause of why police feel they have to shoot to kill in any situation with a Black person, and we wouldn’t constantly be having this discussion.
And stop painting people with broad strokes. All cops are bad, all Black people are criminals, all White people are racist and all immigrants from Latin American countries are drug dealers. This just feeds racism and continues to divide us.
Look at people as individuals, not representative of a group.
And as for the NBA and MLB players walking out in protest saying enough is enough? Well the White response seems to be to point out how a Black man or woman killed a White person/child in yadda yadda city last month and they aren't upset about that. Or a cop was killed in a riot in yadda yadda city and the news didn't report it nationwide.
If Black people killing Whites is so rampant why aren't White players protesting? Why aren't these so-called militias, who are actually domestic terrorists and gangs of thugs, marching in protest and asking for justice?
Because it isn't a systemic problem, that's why.
Yes, police get killed every day by people of all races. They risk their lives every day and we should applaud them for taking on a job that not everyone can do.
But police getting killed in the line of duty is not the same as an unarmed man being murdered or shot seven times in a situation that was not volatile or in one that was made volatile by police. Jacob Blake's shooting wasn't an armed robbery or some crackhead with a weapon. It was a situation that was caused by some police who consider all Black people as threats no matter the situation and use that defense to justify their sometimes deadly actions.
These “justifications” expressed by these White people doesn’t necessarily mean they are racists; it means they lack empathy for those who are not like them. And when the President of the United States stays silent, encouraging far right-wing White groups to incite violence as a response, then something is very wrong here.
We must look at the bigger picture so we can be a united America; an America where Black people have the same privilege as White people to live their lives without fear.
The response will then be "but they are looting and rioting". But, isn't that what White people did when the United States were 13 British colonies under a ruler they considered a tyrant? The result was the Revolutionary War.
Look at history and see how oppressed people respond when they have had enough. It isn’t peaceful, it’s revolt. 2020 is just the modern version.