But I am so TIRED of reading comments from white people trying to convince other people these fucking shootings have no racial component. Are you kidding me, New Balance guy? Really? Here is the comment I just left somewhere to a guy who wanted us to maintain focus on just "looking at the facts as they stand":
"Looking at the facts as they stand, the police have a history of protecting their own. When the victim is black, they don't even need to make the effort. Most of the time when a black man gets killed in this country someone says they feared for their life and they get acquitted. In 2016 there was actual video of Terence Crutcher stepping out with his hands in the air and officer Betty Shelby shooting him. Not guilty. Witness accounts contradict Guyger's story. I'm guessing from everything said she was either too tired from work or was under the influence of something but her account isn't the same as what witnesses say. However, in the end she is white and police so statistically she doesn't have a lot to worry about. Look up some studies and the actual numbers. One from the U of Colorado showed police were even more likely to shoot blacks in a video simulation. There are hundreds of years of conscious and subconscious racial bias ingrained into this country. Racial minorities make up about 37% of the population but about 67% of the people killed by police. There is absolutely a racial component. Until white people also notice this and have a problem with it, it won't change."
Do not be that white person who "doesn't see color." You are ridiculous and a liar. You see it. You can know that our DNA is the same but differences in melanin stem from humans living and coming from different areas on the planet. You can know that while culture and society have made us "others" or seem different, that we are the same inside. But don't act like that bias doesn't exist. We are biologically hardwired to seek out same and be wary of the "others". It was part of our survival thousands of years ago. But it's time to evolve. Stop acting as if it isn't a thing. That would be a good start.
I get it, I do. I come from some hardscrabble people. I've lived in those kinds of neighborhoods. I've had teachers warn friends about hanging around with the "right" kind of people. I have had to sweat and bleed (literally) for everything. It's easy to not see your life as one of privilege. And I am not here to invalidate your struggle. Even if you are a middle class hetero white guy. It's there somewhere, I know. In fact, I could go as far (and I have somewhere way back in this journal) as doing an entry on how much racism actually hurts white people as well. Because it gets mixed with classism for a cocktail of suckage all the time. Anyway, we all have our own experience and that is what shapes who we are. So think of it this way: The human race is really a race, yeah? And white people had one hell of a head start. 246 years of a head start where blacks were used as slaves. Then we had sharecropping and zero civil rights. Slavery may have ended in 1856, but then they had to deal with the Jim Crow laws and segregation. Although given the right to vote, literacy tests were in place to keep them from doing so. Even while serving in the military they were segregated and discriminated against. It was damn near 100 years before the civil rights movement kicked into high gear! So please think about that timeline for a moment. Really let that sink in. Bloody Sunday wasn't 100 years ago, it was 1965. 53 years ago. My parents were teenagers. White supremacists in Southern government on local and state levels was the norm. Not men hiding behind others as they do now, but flagrant racists trying to shape and/or block laws in their areas. It wasn't all that long ago they not only got away with it, they got votes because of it.
Hell, even Suburbia has racism to thank. When desegregation became law, not only did a whole lot of Democrats suddenly switch to the "Grand Old Party" in anger, but white flight was born. Milliken v. Bradley, 1974. Suddenly white families just moved to where blacks couldn't afford to and their kids got to be with other white kids. To this very day, most children of color are taught in schools that are predominantly black and in an inner city. You can look this up, folks.
Now we have all these young black men and boys being killed and we're just allowing it to happen. Very rarely is there a conviction when a cop shoots a suspect. That's an easily verified statement of fact. Did you know the FBI doesn't collect data on police using excessive force? Sometimes people do act out. Sometimes people do resist. Sometimes people do try to antagonize because they know it will be on video all over social media. But sometimes the ones with the power just lose their shit because the person is black and they can. Because white people also resist arrest. White people also cuss and swear and act a fool. White people also reach for their insurance cards. White people also carry cell phones. White people also do drugs and drive too fast and under the influence. But somehow, although they are doing these things in the same percentages (which, btw, means more white people are doing them), the black folks keep ending up dead. Why is that, do you suppose?
I think the idea of reparations is unreasonable and I really do get why hearing the term "white privilege" loses so many people. But just do the basic math. How can anyone possibly deny the systemic racism this country was founded on isn't still having an effect on our lives today? 707 people have been killed by police so far this year. 278 were white. 61 killings were caught on body camera. 415 were not fleeing. Now there will be people saying that there are higher numbers of white people shot than black people. But if you look at the numbers of them being pulled over and arrested, the statistics are very clear about who is being killed more often. The other part of that is the "unknown" factor. Race unknown. But such a huge chunk of them have names like Sandoval, Ortega, Chavez... Ahmed... A quick Google search will tell you Dereshia was black. In fact I was really surprised at how easy it was to look up these "unknown" race folks and see they were Hispanic or black. All with no body camera footage. Let me just add, since I am going on and on anyway, that I have absolutely no problem with someone being killed if there is reasonable cause. Aaron Demonta Fleming, a young black man of "unknown race", shot a cop responding to a shoplifting call in the head. I'm not going to get sad about a "system that failed Aaron, I'm going to think, "Good riddance". Really, get mad if you like, that's another entry. You KNOW someone is guilty of a heinous act, rape, pedophilia, murder, then fine. But rules make a society, and if you come up on a traffic charge and end up arresting someone, please have a damn good reason for that video footage of you stomping them to death. Because you have a taser. Our justice system is a joke, but killing before they have even had their day in court is not what we're supposed to be about. And the people who vow to serve and protect shouldn't fill so many people with terror.