White Lives Lost, Black Lives Lost (draft)

Two ethnic-minority New York City police officers died on Saturday after being assassinated in their patrol car, and the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, The New York Times reported. On social media, the gunman posted “They take 1 of ours … Let’s take 2 of theirs,” and then signed off with, “This may be my final post.” The shooter, Ismaalyl Brinsley, was obviously a man with some “mental” problems… one report I read indicated that he had shot his girlfriend in Maryland, and then drove up to New York and killed the two policemen, who happened to be fellow minority men (Asian, Hispanic).

Whites are now freshly outraged all over again, just when US society has been reaching a new possibility for racial peace and justice. No coincidence.

Example: Retired NYPD detective Harry Houck told CNN, ”I guess Al Sharpton got what he wanted.”

Outrageous! Where has the white outrage been for generations, over the unwarranted deaths of unarmed black men, women, children, and young children when they were being slaughtered like animals?

REMEMBER, not one police officer has been killed since Trayvon Martin was murdered, while several Black men and children have been and continue to be assassinated.

So–

I’m saddened at the deaths of these public servants, and that the shooter never even knew the victims had been his brothers in oppression.

I am deeply troubled that people and the media are often so unconsciously willing to let just one Black man stand for all Black life; and too often, that one Black man’s worst moments are all the media tells us about.

I applaud the great restraint exercised since Trayvon Martin’s death. Indeed I applaud the great restraint of Blacks since their arrival in the US in captivity, though it pains me to know how much that restraint has cost them, and that it arises partly from fear.

I deplore that Black friends are having to shout loudly that they are against the murder of these two officers as if  they would of course not have wanted for it to have happened, as if  they must now share responsibility due to their skin color. This is another example of the mechanism of racism– the co-opting of news to to distract attention away from the peaceful and effective protests (multiracial, too) that have been so powerful of late.

Example [language alert]: a Black pastor friend said, “My heart and soul grieve at the tragedy in Brooklyn with the senseless murder of two police officers. These officers were killed like niggers and no human being deserves to be the recipient of such a callous, cold-blooded act of violence. A commitment to true justice-making requires us to completely dismantle the objectification and subsequent dehumanization of people that gives way to any human being being treated like a nigger.

My pastor friend’s gracious statement reminds me how many Black friends may be led, because of Racism, to be in the position of being expected to apologize for the actions of the shooter (Ismaalyl Brinsley).

For me, this sad news from NYC is also deplorable, but it is also a privileged opportunity to remind other white folks that if they are not already aware of the number of Black deaths at the hands of authorities, they’re not yet well educated enough to understand the many reasons why this shooting occurred.

~Susan

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