I am absolutely enraged as i write this post. Enraged because I have seen two lives taken in a matter of 48 hours. More specifically black lives. I am tired, as I’m sure many of us are of constantly seeing tragedy and seeing people’s lives being taken by those who vowed to serve and protect them. Is this protection? Firing four bullets into a man who was reaching for his wallet?
I am a white person, and as such I realize that I will never face the discrimination that people of colour are faced with each and every day. However I can empathize with them, as a human being I can recognize their struggles, their trials and tribulations. This empathy however is not as common as one would hope. The hash tag “Black Lives Matter” is continually met with retaliation hash tags such as “All Lives Matter” and “White Lives Matter”. This is not a time to tear down those who are in need of help, it is a time to liberate them. They are angry, and can you blame them? They continue to watch their people get murdered and for no good reason. This is a time to say BLACK LIVES MATTER, not all lives matter, not white lives matter, but BLACK LIVES MATTER. This does not mean that black lives are more important than the lives of others, it simply means their lives are in danger right now, and their lives are the ones we need to focus on saving. When Paris was attacked and the world banned together with the Message #PrayforParis, is was not countered by other hash tags. People realized there were other human beings in need and felt it was their job to help empower them. This is no different.
To say race doesn’t play a role in these events is ignorant. When a black man is being detained by two white officers, is shot multiple times and killed for no particular reason. While a white man rapes an unconscious woman and is sentenced to 3 months in prison, for fear that a longer sentence might have “serious effects on him”. Whites are getting slaps on the wrist and a stern warning and blacks are getting murdered.
I began writing this post two days ago, after watching the video of Philando Castile’s death. Clearly I was very angry, I woke up in shock and disbelief that yet another life had been taken, only a day after we lost Alton Sterling. Yesterday I woke up angry once again, to the news that five white police officers were shot and killed and seven were wounded in Dallas, by a sniper. As I understand the anger many have towards the police force in the United States, murdering innocent officers is in no way just. Trying to stop blood shed with more blood shed is not the answer. These officers were innocent and un related to the deaths in the days prior, taken from their loved ones by a senseless act of violence, out of “revenge”. We need to aim for justice by ensuring officers who are killing people get the proper sentencing they deserve and are not left to walk free without facing the repercussions of their actions. This is justice. Killing innocent people to send a message is not. It is just as horrific as what we are speaking out against.
Rest in peace #PhilandoCastile #AltonSterling #BrentThompson #PatrickZamarripa #MichaelKrol #MichaelSmith #LorneAhrens