We had a bad storm last night and lost power; we'd been watching coverage of the protests around the country over the shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. We lost power before hearing about the shooting of eleven police officers — and the deaths of five — in Dallas during what had been a peaceful protest.
I’m kinda glad we lost power; I am tired of the killing.
I am tired that today is the 190th day of the year.
I am tired that, as of today, 566 people have been killed by police officers in this country; that’s nearly three people every day; the majority being Native American or Black.
Today is July 8th; in the first seven days of this month 21 people have been killed by police in July; three every single day.
I am not indicting all police officers; I am indicting those that shoot first and ask questions later … or never ask a question at all.
I am indicting the justice system, and those in law enforcement, who instead of finding answers tend to “circle the wagons” and lay the blame on the victims.
They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He shouldn’t have had a gun.
Where is the right place for Black Americans I wonder, if it’s not walking, driving, living, selling CDs, free, and free of the threat of death, in America?
I am indicting the media that, invariably, when a black American is shot and killed by police, look for a mugshot of the victim for the story; but when it’s a white American the media posts a prom picture … a wedding photo … a family picture.
I am asking White America, where is your anger? Are you angry, but internally glad that it wasn’t you, and will probably never be you? Where is the anger? Is it because, like the shooting in Orlando, “they’re” killing all the right people?
Where is the anger from the GOP? Oh, sure, they’ve rallied behind the dead police officers in Dallas — as we all should — but where were they when Alton Sterling was murdered in Baton Rouge? Where’s the anger over the police officers who murdered Alton Sterling and yet, conveniently, lost their body cameras before the shots were fired?
Where were they when Philando Castile was murdered for having a broken taillight? Yes, I know that’s not why he was shot, but it’s what lead to him being shot.
When asked for his license and registration during a routine traffic stop, Philando Castile told the officer he was carrying a licensed concealed handgun and as he reached for his wallet the officer fired into the car at close range four times.
Shouldn’t that make us all angry?
If it doesn’t, head over to The Counted and you can see, every single day, the numbers go up of people who are killed by police officers in this country.
And before you tell me that sometimes there is no other option, I know that; I know that. But not every time … not in the case of Tamir Rice playing in a park … not in the case of Eric Garner, choked to death on the street … not in the case of Sandra Bland … found dead in a holding cell.
Not every time.
And to change we need to start with gun laws; make it tougher for people to get guns because maybe there would have been no snipers in Dallas … maybe a police officer wouldn’t have felt threatened enough to shoot in Falcon Heights … maybe two officers wouldn’t have tackled a man and shot him while he was on the ground in Baton Rouge.
And we need to fix the judicial system which gives harsher, longer sentences to people of color than it does to white Americans. We need to fix our political system which, when people die in this country from senseless gun violence, offer no solutions but “thoughts and prayers” while they cash their NRA donation checks.
We need to fix it.
If we were all truly equal in this country, and if we were all treated truly equally, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or religion, if we are treated one another with the same dignity and respect that we ask for, we’d be in a much better place.
We wouldn’t be burying sons and fathers and brothers and sisters and mothers and aunts and uncles who were shot to death for being ….. ?