Black Lives

I can’t speak to the experience of being Black in America. I can’t speak to the microaggressions, to the stereotypes, to the resentment. I can’t speak to any of it. I don’t have a voice in this pain. But I can speak to what the Washington Post named white rage. I can speak to white privilege. I can speak to ignorance.

Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.

“because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.”

I can speak to this backlash, this undercurrent of racism that seems to be dictating so much in our legal and political system, regardless of the rebuttals I hear against my claim. Racism is alive and well in America, and stop. Stop justifying it, stop victim blaming, stop.

My sister’s a cop. You know what cops are taught? They’re taught to be afraid. You have to be, don’t you? Afraid if you’re going to seek out the bad, stand up to the bad, enforce the rules. That’s what I think. I listened to my sister’s training stories with rapt attention. The scenarios of school shootings, hostage situations, the brutal mind games. The insults, the physical challenges, the sexism, the racism, the classism inherent in everything they’re taught. You’re taught to rely on your stereotypes. You’re taught to be careful with your weapon, with your gun. But how careful can you be when you’re also being told to be afraid. Be very afraid. How careful can you be when you’re expected to think ahead. Be 5 steps ahead of the guy on the other side. Be 5 steps ahead and expect the worst. It’s your life or his. It’s your safety or his. It’s your well-being or his. [see: http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/12/police-gun-shooting-training-ferguson/383681/%5D

As a cop, you don’t have to be taught that everyone hates you. That’s quickly evident as you get out in the streets. People are afraid of you, people don’t trust you, people aren’t afraid to hurt you. So, you’re taught how to use your weapons. You’re taught not to discharge them unless you need to. You have your taser, your bear mace, your baton, your gun. Don’t go for the gun unless you see a gun. Unless you suspect a gun. But a big scary black man has you cornered and is hitting you hard. Does the white cop hesitate and try the mace? Where was his taser? He doesn’t chance it–he goes for the best weapon in his arsenal. His adrenaline and his fear and his training kick in. Neutralize the threat.

Cops live in a world we cannot fathom. So we give them our excuses, we make our exceptions. Better them than us. That doesn’t make it right. To shoot a teenager multiple times. To harass. To intimidate. That doesn’t mean you can kill someone and won’t even stand trial for it.

It’s a race issue; it’s a psychological issue; it’s a legal issue. It’s a big clusterfuck of what we’ve deemed freedom in our red white and blue country [not white and black. never that.] It’s the 2nd Amendment. It’s my rights versus yours. Don’t forget for a second that your worth can be ranked and labeled by nobodys, by anybodys, unless you’re a rich, white, straight man.

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