A man named Jacob Blake was trying to break up an argument between two women on Sunday. Someone had called the police, and when they arrived, Blake left the women to the police to sort out and headed back to his vehicle where his three young sons awaited patiently in the back seat. But, instead of breaking up the fight between the women, police zeroed in on Mr. Blake … and as he opened the door to his SUV and started to get in, they shot him in the back … seven times!!!
Seven times they shot a man … an unarmed man … in front of his children!!! A man who had committed no crime, had no weapon, wasn’t even acting in any suspicious manner! Ask not why there are protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the shooting took place! The only reason I’m not calling it a murder is that by some miracle, Mr. Blake survived and is currently in serious condition at a Milwaukee hospital. If he dies, this will have been a murder … in cold blood. If he dies, the Kenosha police department will owe those three little boys a debt that they can never repay. And whether he lives or dies, this is but the latest in a string of unarmed black people being shot by police in just the past few months … just one more incidence of the systemic racism that is rampant in police departments across the U.S.
- Breonna Taylor – March 13th – murdered by police in her own bed after police used a battering ram to break down the door. They had a warrant … for someone else who was not, and had never been, in Ms. Taylor’s apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.
- George Floyd – May 25th – murdered in cold blood by one police officer, while three others looked on in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Rayshard Brooks – June 12th – murdered by police for the crime of having a bit too much to drink and falling asleep in his car at the Wendy’s drive-thru lane in Atlanta, Georgia.
And these are only the high-profile ones, the ones we’ve heard about in the last five months. So no, don’t you dare respond to someone saying that Black Lives Matter with your pathetic “All lives matter”, for that is a slap in the face to Ms. Taylor, Mr. Floyd, Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Blake, their families, and every one of us who care about these people. Don’t you dare make excuses for police departments that tolerate racism among their ranks. Don’t you dare support people who come out of their homes pointing guns at peaceful protestors who are trying to make their voices heard. And if you support the racist, race-baiting white supremacist who sits in the Oval Office, then don’t you dare speak to me!
Angry??? Hell yes, I’m angry! I’ve been in tears all evening, I want to tear someone’s head off! I hate the racism, the bigotry in all forms, that has become the very definition of the United States.
The officers who shot Mr. Blake, by the way, have been placed on “administrative leave” … why were they not fired? Why are they on “administrative leave”, still receiving their salary, when they are guilty of nothing less than attempted murder? These officers were not wearing body cameras, however there was a bystander filming the attempted murder with his cell phone, and that video went viral. If it hadn’t, would we have even heard of the attempted murder of Jacob Blake? I wonder. As Eugene Robinson wrote in The Washington Post …
“The video doesn’t show all of what happened before Blake headed for the car, and it’s shot from a distance. But what it reveals is enough. Without this cellphone clip, I’m guessing the police report would have spoken of “noncompliance” and “resisting arrest” and some sort of “threatening move” — and that, without evidence to the contrary, Blake might have been filed away as just another Black man who got what he undoubtedly deserved.
There’s a pattern here: Floyd was suspected of passing a fake $20 bill, and he paid with his life. Brooks fell asleep in a Wendy’s drive-through, and he paid with his life. Taylor was just sleeping in her own home, and she paid with her life.
Officials in Kenosha County declared a state of emergency Sunday night. But for African Americans, the emergency is permanent — and it threatens our lives.”
My friends … our country is no longer one in which we can or should take pride. It is a broken country, one that only works for the wealthy and those with white skin. The rest of us … are expendable. Tonight at the Republican National Convention, Mike Pence told cheering supporters, “We will always stand with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line of law enforcement. We’re going to back the blue.” And reading in between the lines … “To hell with the Blacks, the Hispanics, the Native Americans, the Middle-Easterners …” The biggest crime in our nation, it would seem, is not colluding with a foreign power, is not shooting someone with an AR-15, is not robbing a bank, is not lying to the American people … the biggest crime is simply being Black.
Tonight, I debate whether it is worth staying here and fighting this fight. I suppose November 3rd will answer that question, but frankly, if I had the chance to put the United States behind me tomorrow and never return, I would gladly say “goodbye”.