Whose Lives Matters?

You can go a long way in this country, killing Black folk. Young males especially.

If [they] were killing white women, black children, tourists… One white ex-cheerleader tourist missing in Aruba…

Trouble is, this ain’t Aruba, bitch.

You think that if 300 white people were killed in this city every year, they wouldn’t send the 82nd Airborne? Negro, please.

The Wire, a conversation between Baltimore detectives sitting in a bar

As the tenure of America’s first black president comes to a close, race relations have deteriorated to a point not seen since the 1960’s. Since the police shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, there has been a regularly recurring cycle in the U.S. public mind: a black man is killed by police under suspicious circumstances, footage comes out from police or bystanders, there are protests, sometimes followed by rioting and looting and more violence, followed by police officers being excused of all wrong doing or going on paid vacation, then more rioting and looting.

The latest tragedy took place Tuesday this week in Charlotte, North Carolina where a black man Keith Scott was shot dead in a police encounter in front of his wife. She is on video trying to calm him down and telling police that he has had a traumatic brain injury, that he is unarmed and is doing nothing to nobody… then police shot him after he ignored their orders. Police say he was armed and was holding a gun, the family says he was holding a book. Violent protests ensued the following nights, with a state of emergency declared, and one protestor was shot and killed by another protestor.

The days of Americans viewing their local police like a friendly neighborhood sheriff Andy Griffith, or the clownish Simpson’s cop Clancy Wiggum, is over. But violent, sometimes fatal encounters with police is not new in the American experience since the 1960’s with the Chicago riots around the 1968 Democratic National Convention, or at least since Rodney King was beaten by LAPD on video in 1991. What has changed?

First, communications technology has advanced enough to where in 2016, everyone in society, even the poorest, has the technology to record police encounters and publish them to millions of people instantly. It’s called a cell phone. Social media then spreads the news and videos quicker than a brush fire and national protests can be organized the same day. If someone could have filmed and shared Emmett Till‘s murder in 1955 Mississippi, maybe the Civil Rights Movement and their ultimate victory in the 1960’s would have taken place a lot quicker with the clear inhumanity of his perpetrators on full display.

Secondly, jumping on every police killing of blacks serves the agenda of a special, twisted breed of people. I believe there are innocent, good-hearted people in the Black Lives Matter movement standing up for what they feel is right. But the people at the top and the social justice organizations have been waiting for decades to get into the national spotlight. Hackers at DCLeaks have exposed billionnaire George Soros as directly donating at least $650,000 to Black Lives Matter after he previously gave millions to put Ferguson, Missouri on the map after Michael Brown’s death. Social Justice Warrior-ism has permeated academia and many of our institutions, setting the stage for these large-scale outrages, protests, and riots. Cultural revolution doesn’t happen by accident; it has been a long time coming for a motivated few working behind the scenes and it looks like they may just get their revolution.

The fact that 90% of black murder victims are killed by other blacks does not advance this agenda based on combating social inequality and institutional racism, thus you see so few media outlets talking about the epidemic of violence in some black communities like Chicago and Baltimore. There are no serious examinations of the War on Drugs, or the criminal justice system, or inter-generational poverty. Just get on TV in make-up and shout racist like Al Sharpton and you’ll go far. As long as you’re serving the agenda that the elites have in mind for us, then get out on the street and shout and yell all you want… But start criticizing the people you are not supposed to criticize like how Occupy Wall Street attacked the banking industry, and be ready to be swept under the rug.

Thirdly and finally, the most troubling change in recent years. The American Imperium. It has been a long work in progress. One could argue that the U.S. began on the slippery slope from Republic to Empire in the Spanish-American War at the turn of the 19th century. But that went into overdrive after September 11, 2001. With an undefined enemy to attack all around the world in an undeclared war with no objective to accomplish or set ending, the War on Terrorism saw America police the world, embracing torture and using heavy-grade military weapons against civilians. Mass surveillance, the sacrifice of our right to privacy, the expectation of us to be willing to be searched were all embraced.

Now the war is coming home. Military surplus is being sold to local police departments and SWAT teams at bottom-barrel prices by the federal government. The more significant import from our wars abroad though is the military mindset. Now every encounter with police risks to be fatal if you fail to yield to their every command. Imperialism, writes Colin Elliott, “is derived from the ancient Latin term imperium… The key to imperium is in its assignment of hierarchy: it not only describes the authority of an official, but it requires resigned passivity by those whom the official encounters.”

In light of this, no one is spared from the ultimate punishment for failure to obey orders, not even the disabled like Keith Scott. The use of deadly force is something no one should take lightly, let alone come across one’s mind as an acceptable outcome to a routine traffic violation. It should be the option of very last resort and every other peaceful option should be sought after. If that sounds condescending to police officers, then one has to wonder why one West Virginia police officer was fired for failing to blast away a mentally deranged man with an unloaded gun looking for suicide by cop.

It is a taint on a great nation that the people accept and encourage their police to summarily execute civilians, even children and the mentally handicapped, for failure to obey orders.

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