I can almost guarantee that any discussion about the events in the United States over the last several days will be met by somebody saying “But…”
- But violence and looting isn’t the answer.
- But if he hadn’t resisted, he’d have been fine.
- But the police were just doing their jobs.
You can fill in the gaps.
While I don’t condone violence and looting, all of this deflects from what I believe is important. A black man was handcuffed by white police, placed in a position that they were trained was dangerous, had a knee placed on his neck for over 8 minutes–and kept there, even after he became unconscious, and died. It was an unnecessary death.
One death in this way is too many. But–and yes, I’m using that word–this is not the first time situations like this have happened. Unarmed black people–or people legally carrying–shot by white police, who then either face no charges or are found not guilty.
Don’t tell me they deserved it. Just don’t even go there.
Tell me why white men, armed with weapons and having made threats, were allowed to enter a state legislature, wander around with their weapons and then leave on their own with no police action.
Tell me why white men charged with multiple murders are captured and handcuffed and treated politely.
Tell me why neo-Nazis protesting violently in Charlottesville are “good people” while African-Americans are “thugs.”
Tell me why black people, peacefully protesting brutality they see in their communities, are almost always met with police in riot gear, armed with pepper spray and mace, while white protests are not.
Tell me why a black/Latino CNN camera crew is arrested, even after showing their credentials and asking the police to just tell them where they want them to move to…while a white CNN reporter is simply politely asked to move back.
Tell me just how African-Americans are supposed to have their voices heard.
When we stop saying “but…” and start listening, then maybe, just maybe we can find ways of healing.