Friday, September 23, 2016

Could you be a bit more polite, please?

How come after the murder of an unarmed black man by the police the first thing folks want to do is caution (mostly black) protesters to be calm and non-violent?

Why isn't anyone issuing the came precautions to the police?

Social change isn't an easy process. Sometimes it takes a revolution. It can be very messy.

Change was very slow during the Civil Rights Era. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers were arrested, beaten and assaulted throughout the old Confederacy. They maintained their stance of non-violence. And the beatings continued.

Things changed when Malcolm X came onto the scene. Suddenly the white power structure had to deal with the threat of violence. Negotiating with King became a more practical tactic than turning cops and dogs on men, women and children.

Senators and representatives were scared to death that an armed insurrection would break out in the streets. They had to find a solution and they had to find it quickly.

Without Malcolm X it is likely that the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Acts would not have passed - or would have been far more watered down than they were.

Attacking police officers makes a bad situation worse, it's stupid and puts everyone at risk.

While Judge Carter's sentiments may be in the right place, the fact is everyone whose skin isn't white is already at risk - regardless of what they do or don't do. (Of course you could read the statement to be an indictment of police officers attacking others; but I doubt that's what was meant. I guess it all depends on what word you choose to put the emphasis.)

Terrence Crutcher's car broke down on the highway. The police came to the scene. Mr. Crutcher had done nothing wrong yet all of sudden, once the police showed up on the scene, he became the suspect. The cops assumed that he was guilty of something and treated him as such. There was no justification for their actions. There was no justification for Officer Betty Shelby to murder him. But there it was.

Keith Lamont Scott was sitting in his car waiting for his son to get off the school bus. Cops were in his housing project to serve a warrant on someone else. Suddenly, just because he was sitting in a car, Mr. Scott became a suspect. The cops assumed he was guilty of something and treated him as such. And I don't give a fuck whether he had a gun or not because he had a permit to carry one. But now he's dead, too.

Now let's contrast these incidents to the standoff in Oregon where Clive Bundy and his armed band of right wing fanatics (and freeloaders) occupied a national park. Despite the fact that Mr. Bundy and his fellow criminals were breaking the law, despite the fact that they were armed and threatening to use their weapons, they walked out of the park alive. The police used extra caution to ensure there was no bloodshed.

That sure as hell wasn't the case in Tulsa, and it wasn't the case in Charlotte. You can draw your own conclusions as to why the standoff in Oregon didn't result in multiple deaths. I've already drawn mine.

And now here we are in 2016, watching as the police continue to murder unarmed black men and those who raise their voices in protest are told to keep it down. Keeping it down hasn't done much good to this point. I'm not going to lecture anyone on how to challenge the system because when the masses say enough is enough, it's over. The existing power structure might want to prepare in case it's the fire next time.

1 comment:

Lee said...


While there are many my fantasies that would be fulfilled by declaring open war against the state and its police and revisiting the same violence back upon them that they have dished out, I do regret that it is not the solution to our problem. Open war in the streets and escalating violence are not going to in any way reduce the body count of police victims. Revenge and escalation ill not bring peace but instead require us to continue digging graves.