We need to talk about this….
I have been sitting on this post for a about a month now because I felt it was important to allow tensions to dissipate before speaking on this. There is a lot to unpack here so I’m going to do my best to address all points that I feel need to be made.
I recognize that my assumption that “tensions could dissipate” when it comes to police murdering black people, is merely fantasy. The reality is that we are beyond sick of it, so much so, that when a black man is murdered by the police, we don’t give a damn what he did. The video above is a perfect example of the phenomenon that has been created by a systemic lack of accountability for murderous cops.
The black man referenced in the story, Andrew Sundberg (20), did indeed commit a crime, but so did Dylann Roof. The major difference between these two, is that one was killed by the police and the other was arrested, tried and convicted. Andrew Sundberg was killed after a 6-hour standoff with police after he fired his gun multiple times, sending bullets through the apartment of Arabella Yarbrough (see video above). It is important to note that Andrew’s family made a statement about his ongoing mental health issues, stating that he was facing a mental health crisis. Dylann was arrested in 2017 for shooting up a predominately black church in Charleston, SC, murdering nine people.
Why Dylann is worth mentioning is because… his arrest was one of the most blatant in your face examples of how cops tend to treat white criminals vs black criminals. Reports detailed that cops apprehended Dylann fairly gently for someone who just shot up a church full of people. The arresting officers even went so far as to take Dylann to Burger King (because he was hungry) before finally taking him to the police station for booking. Outrageous.
Similar stories are never ending. There is a constant stream of news reports about cops murdering or wounding people of color, mostly men, because they were “holding a gun shaped item in their hand”. But even if that were the case, how is it that white mass murderers, still holding visibly identifiable weapons in their hands, can so easily be persuaded to be arrested? What kind of special magic is this? Is it safe to say that white mass murderers don’t fear for their lives in the same way black men do when encountering a cop? I think so.
It isn’t hard to understand why BLM protesters show up every time a black person gets murdered. It isn’t hard to understand why they’re so damn angry about it too. It’s because we know cops are perfectly capable of arresting people without murdering them, we see it every time some white guy decides to shoot up a public place, like a grocery store in a black neighborhood. Is it too much to ask that cops make an effort to arrest a POC suspected of a crime and allow the legal system to be the judge jury and executioner if warranted? We just want cops to see black people as human beings who are also worthy of life and trial by jury.
The video above stirred up a lot of vitriol towards BLM, towards the cops, and even towards this woman who was rightfully scared to death. It’s unfortunate, because it does make the BLM movement seem irrational to the movements worst critics. Is it justifiable that the cops, after a 6-hour standoff, brought in two snipers to take this man out? I’ll let you speculate on that. Ultimately, I’m just so tired of the blatant racism that is imbedded in our police system that causes us to knee jerk react in this way. Just how the police tend to shoot first and ask questions later, we are now compelled to do the same.