If You’re Not With Us, You’re Against Us

Social media is a powerful tool for spreading the word. Even so, I have had the displeasure of coming across many things suggesting or outright saying that the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner were justified. That if the media says “white cop killed a black man”, they are playing the race card. The media is calling it as it is.

At this point, if you are not with us, you are against us. If you turn a blind eye, if you say we pull the race card, if you say a cop has the right to shoot an unarmed 18 year old who was fleeing for his life, if you say choking Eric Garner to death was justified because he was selling cigarettes, then you are my enemy. You are what is preventing me, and people like me, from being treated like human beings.

Let’s temporarily set aside Eric Garner and Michael Brown, to talk about more people who have been victims of police brutality and murders. Aiyana Stanley Jones was asleep on the couch in the living room when she was fatally shot by Officer Weekley with a submachine gun. You can read the article here: http://countercurrentnews.com/2014/11/aiyana-stanley-jones/ Aiyana was seven years old. Assuming the flash bang grenade is true, and assuming Weekley was blinded, he could not have seen Aiyana to know she was black. I’m not sure what race card can be played here. The point I’m making is that someone’s little girl is dead at the hands of two cops who did not care about the lives and safety of the people in that home.

Now let’s talk about Malik Jones. Sadly, I didn’t know about this story because in 1997 I was living in Atlanta when it happened, but I wish I had. Malik was chased by police into a parking lot, blocked in, and supposedly was ramming his car into at least one cop car. Fearing that Malik would ram his car again, the officer got out of his vehicle, went to the driver side window of Malik’s car, smashed it with his gun and then fired into the driver side four times, killing Malik. You can read about that too: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20140817/emma-jones-relives-97-east-haven-police-shooting-of-son-malik-in-ferguson-case Here are more facts: Malik was black, the officer was white. Malik did not have any firearms. Some might argue his car was a weapon, but, three cop cars blocked him in, so whether or not he was ramming their cars is uncertain. Were the cops really ramming into Malik’s car? Why didn’t this officer order him to turn off the vehicle and exit it?

The duty of every police department, and the duty of every police officer in the United States is to serve and protect. You serve the people means that you are here for the people. Protecting the people means that you are not judge, jury and executioner, instead that you are here to prevent harm from coming to civilians. We are the people and we have the civil right to live, and you are here to serve and protect that civil right. If you, police officer, do not protect that civil right, then you are not an officer but a criminal hiding behind a badge. Power can be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands.

There are multiple solutions to this problem; some of which are obvious and some which are not. But the best way to solve this issue is to look at what it stems from. Think about all of the black folks during the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s, who were beaten, murdered, sprayed with fire hoses, arrested without being read their rights and jailed for things they did not do, or for enormous amounts of time. They demanded equality, and the law no longer be used as a weapon against them. They raised their voices and resisted. That resistance had so much power that it inadvertently helped teach cops to be extra afraid of blacks and what they might do if an officer tries to violate their civil rights. Cops are still trying to stop us from resisting their attempts to dehumanize us. Our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness does not matter to these cops any more than it did over five decades ago. Over hundreds of years ago.

Sadly, a local artist I know had written on Facebook that she condoned an officer choking a white man who allegedly resisted arrest. In the video footage, the man is standing still while being handcuffed, and the officer in question simply walks up to and starts choking this man. The justification this woman used in her Facebook post, is that anyone who is committing a crime, anyone who is resisting arrest, deserves to be choked or shot. We are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. In other words, it is not a crime until we have been convicted of it. No one of any race, gender, age, deserves to be subjected to that abuse by police. I promptly removed this person from my friends list, because I feel betrayed. It is a horrible day when police brutality can turn black folk against their own people. Someday she may be a victim of police brutality because she is black. I wonder if then, she’ll believe she deserved it.

If you are not with us, you are against us.

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