Thursday, July 7, 2016

Business As Usual While Police Kill Black Men

"I think he's just black in the wrong place."  -- Valerie Castile
"The ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement is about acknowledging the brutal, painful injustices our Black sisters and brothers have endured and are continuing to endure. When we talk about #BlackLivesMatter, some people hear that we don't think "all" lives matter. Supporting #BlackLivesMatter, especially in the face of these killings by police officers, doesn't mean that no one else matters. It means that we white people haven't done justice by our brethren of color, and it's time that we step up to the plate. All of us. Together." -- Jim Hightower
Republicans on Capitol Hill, determined to validate their conspiracy theories, are grilling the FBI Director over his recommendation to not indict Hillary Clinton over her use of a personal email server while Secretary of State. Democrats defend the Director. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is decompensating from criticism over his posting of an anti-Semitic image obtained from a white supremacist site and his praise of Saddam Hussein, becoming even more incoherent than usual.  Fox News is reeling from a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by one of its female stars.

In short, another typical day in America.

Meanwhile, Philando Castile, a black man, was fatally shot by the police in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota after being stopped for having a broken tail light.  This comes only one day after Baton Rouge, Louisiana police shot and killed another black man, Alton Sterling.

In short, another typical day in America.

123 black men have been killed by U.S. law enforcement THIS YEAR.

But as my friend Reggie Shuford (Executive Director of the Pennsylvania ACLU) notes, there continues to be a palpable disconnect between Black America and the rest of us:
Yesterday, I felt like I existed in a parallel universe, where Black America was collectively grieving and expressing outrage at yet another killing of a Black man, while just about everyone else (with a few notable exceptions) was going about business as usual. This business as usual - the killing of Black folk and the lack of awareness and engagement by others - has got to stop. I need EVERYONE of goodwill to join the fight to preserve Black lives. Everyone.


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