300. All Lives Matter: How to Live the Statement?

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1 Response

  1. Alton King says:

    I get and support the premise of this idealized state of interaction and thinking on this topic yet I respectfully disagree when context and history are absent. How much of the fear and angst is driven/fueled by bias, discrimination, distrust, and/or hate on the part of the police officer. Both conscious and unconscious bias play a favor, particularly when an officer is white and the alleged wrongdoer is black. America’s history is full of extrajudicial killings of blacks – especially black men – going back to the colonials days of the 1600s. Even FBI Director Comey noted this reality whereby many felt betrayed by such acknowledgement. Bloody Sunday is just one of countless examples. Police officers have a difficult job and most do fine in it, even if you applied Pareto’s rule 80% do somewhere between fair and exceptional. The police and law enforcement, supported by a problematic legal and judicial system, have been agents to control blacks as enslaved peoples (i.e., property), maintaining the status quo under Jim Crow, and front line implementers of a failed, yet sinister War on Drugs campaign and policy. Both history (e.g., strange fruit) and recent events (e.g., http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/12/black-boys-seem-older-than-their-white-peers.html) are constant reminders that a black life has never mattered, if anything its despised. Thusly, “until black lives matter, all lives cannot matter”.

    Today as in the past, a core critique is the violation and uneven application of constitutional law and rights. Michael Brown’s death was the straw that unleashed a community frustrations of daily living, well captured in the summary report on the Ferguson PD also here too (https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-findings-two-civil-rights-investigations-ferguson-missouri). This is the reality for many community across the country not “exceptions”.

    To follow-up through on your premise, one has to acknowledge and embraces these realities. Discussions cannot improve related to this topic without it. Empathy is another important aspect that has to come into play – for the officer, individual, and community. This I’m sure we share a common belief in.

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