Monday, October 12, 2015

Tamir Rice And Why "Black Lives Matter" Is Needed

The other day, "independent experts" have ruled that the Tamir Rice shooting was justified.  Of course, this set off a firestorm of controversy.  I have been stating that this "justification" ruling was why Black Lives Matter was needed.  And people have been responding that the Black Lives Matter movement is racist.

Here is my response when people say that this movement is racist:

Black Lives Matter is not racist. People tend to translate "Black Lives Matter" as "Black Lives Matter, but others, not so much." But in reality, it's "Black Lives Matter, As Well As Everyone Else's." Black Lives Matter isn't to the exclusion of anyone else. In an ideal situation, the officer that shot Tamir Rice would be under intense scrutiny. But when innocent Black people are shot by police, THEIR lives are placed under a microscope. "They must have had it coming." "They deserved it." "They were thugs anyway."

Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old child playing with a toy gun, in a state where open-carry is legal. It stands to reason that if Tamir was an adult with a real gun, he would have survived his encounter. Now here, you might say that I'm pulling the "race card", but I have seen plenty of videos of adult white people with real guns encounter police, and they tell the police what's what. One guy even told the police to stand down. Tamir Rice wasn't given that luxury, as he was gunned down within seconds of his encounter with the police.

In the wake of the shooting, and this "justification" ruling, more people were blaming Tamir for the heinous crime of playing with his gun. In another situation with cops and a white person with guns, there was a white male walking the streets with a gun. When the police approached him, they backed off. Then, they formed a perimeter. Then, they talked to the guy. Eventually, they de-escalated the situation to the point where one of the officers could sit on a curb next to the gunman, TALKING. Again, a luxury not afforded young Mr. Rice.

Black Lives Matter because the cop that shot Tamir should not have been on the Cleveland police force to begin with, but TAMIR'S life was under a bigger microscope than this officer's life. Black Lives Matter because a 12-year-old Black child should have a greater benefit of the doubt in a case involving lethal force than an objectively incompetent police officer.

Black Lives Matter because Tamir Rice, John Crawford III, Amidou Diallo, Akai Gurley, Rekesha Boyd, Sandra Bland, etc ad infinitum, should not have had death as the ultimate consequence of their encounter with police. Black Lives Matter because Abner Louima should not have been assaulted with a plunger. Black Lives Matter because a baby should not be injured by a flash grenade. Black Lives Matter because a Black teenaged girl shouldn't be slammed to the ground by a police officer. Black Lives Matter because a Black woman shouldn't be pummeled by a cop straddling her like he's working on MMA ground and pound techniques.  Black Lives Matter because Bruce Springsteen should not have had to make this song:

And to those who talk about white people facing police brutality, I would simply ask these questions: Aren't you angry about that? If not, why not?

Because regardless, you still get killed for living in your American Skin.

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