I keep trying to fill in the blank with some really clever simile but just can’t finish it. “Answering #BlackLivesMatter with #AllLivesMatter is like…” I just can’t. Just can’t do it.
Because it is stupid.
“Black Lives Matter” is a response. It’s a response to a country that for centuries told black people, through its institutions, through its laws, through its culture, that their lives did not matter. That in fact at one point, they were not considered as humans, but as chattel. And after that, it was, you can’t sit there, you can’t drink from there, and you most certainly cannot swim there. We are a country that has spent quite a lot of effort creating a problem out of a segment of our population who for the most part did not even have their blood lines end up here of their own will. I don’t have to lecture you here further. You probably dig it. Comparing the experience of any other demographic to that of black people in the Untied States of America is a foolish errand. That experience is unique and incomparable, and to your average honkey like me, it is downright unfathomable.
Though I do try.
Having said all of that. I do find it troublesome that the issue of such extreme police misconduct is being tossed around so enthusiastically as an issue of race.
Because that ain’t the real problem, folks.
We got a stiff reminder of the real problem in, say, July 2013, when George Zimmerman was acquitted. And the reminders have been quite prolific since.
The real problem is that, at some point, and I don’t know when it happened, this crazy country decided that police officers and even jackass wannabes like Jorge Zimmerman, do not have to account for murder.
And that shouldn’t just scare black folks. It scares me. And it should scare you, and you, and you too, and U2, too.
Police officers, who in some circles might and should be referred to as “peace officers,” can kill you now and not even have to sit across from a judge. That’s a problem that should unwarm the cockles of all our hearts, not just those of my beautiful black brothers and sisters.
I think if you kill a person, you need to see a judge. You need to experience some level of legal proceeding. I don’t care if you are a cop, a wannabe cop, a black person, a white person, a Democrat, a Republican, a Freak, or Bruce Lee. If you kill someone, you need to go to court about it for some kind of lawful reckoning.
It’s not racial harmony we should be buying the world a Coke for, kids. It’s simple accountability. Cops are not made to account for things like this, and that, my friends, is what’s so incredibly horrifying and should be horrifying to me and you and a dog named Boo.
(By the way, I’m Verbal Kint at the beginning of The Usual Suspects, not at the end. I like cops and think most of them are just dandy people. But this legal system needs to hold them accountable as they would you or me. That’s the outrage.)