11 December 2014

I can't stand it anymore; OR - No, actually, violent Black men don't represent all Black people.

I tried, so hard, and for so long, to ignore the news, to ignore the protestors, and to not learn anything about the latest liberal outrage.

I'm not sure what finally broke me, but it may have been the FaceBook post ironically claiming it to be "Open Season on Black Men" in the wake of Officer Darren Wilson's acquittal.

Even then, I put off writing anything.
Because I know human psychology.
I know about the backfire effect.
I know that humans - and particularly Americans, it seems - actually enjoy the feeling of outrage, it is like a drug, something about our start as a revolution perhaps, who knows, but the real point is having something to protest, something to be angry about, someone to rebell against.  The details are just the excuse.

The chances are really really good that you, who ever you are, have already formed your opinion.
And that opinion is based 99% on emotion, and only 1% on having actually read the available evidence yourself and trying to form a logical conclusion from facts.  Of course you don't think you do this - nobody does - and yet psychologists and marketers alike know with absolute certainty that damn near every single person does.
And the crazy fucking thing is that if I present some of the available information, and I point out some rational conclusions that can be drawn from that information, if the conclusion contradicts what you already believe, not only will you not change your belief, it will make you believe it even stronger!

And so I'm tempted to not even write, because the last thing I want to do is make anyone believe this stupid, racist, counter-productive crap even more strongly than they already do.

And yet, I know me, and this is going to bother me forever if I don't get it down in print, and besides, about 4 people read this blog, so there's pretty limited damage I can do no matter how controversial I am.

So ok, lets go:

Oscar Grant.  Trayvon Martin.  Michael Brown.
What do they all have in common?

I know, I know, what the media wants to have immediately spring to mind is "Black Man".
There is something they have in common which is much more specific, and more uncommon, than that.
And I don't mean getting shot.
I mean in the moments leading up to getting shot.

Do you remember the actual details of these cases?

That is what triggered the events that led to each of them being shot.

Lets review:

Oscar Grant wasn't just detained for being a Black man.  He was being arrested because he was in a fist fight on a crowded commuter train.  There is never an excuse to be physically fighting other people on a train.  Normal people don't get into situations like that.  Ever.

We can never know for sure, but every single eye witness, the medical examiner's report, and the 911 tapes all confirm George Zimmerman's claim that Trayvon Martin, after pretending to run away, actually doubled back and found a hiding place, and when Zimmerman started walking back to his car, Martin jumped out, tackled Zimmerman, slammed his head into the sidewalk multiple times, and then repeatedly punched him in the face.  Multiple witnesses, who had no relationship with either person, clearly saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, pinning him down and punching him in the face.  Zimmerman's nose was broken, he had two black eyes, and a gash on the back of his head.  Even Martin's own father, the first time he heard the 911 tape, admitted it was Zimmerman's voice in the background calling for help (although, not surprisingly, he fell in line with the rest of the family to pretend to "recognize" Martin's voice after the media got hold of the case).
People said this was a test case for "stand your ground", and in an ironic way it was: Martin could have avoided escalating the situation had he actually run away when he realized he was being followed.  But he didn't.  He stood his ground.  He found a place to hide so he could ambush his pursuer, and he was the one who then turned it from creepy to physically violent.

The media and activists and angry liberals alike all like to emphasize how such-and-such suspect was "unarmed".

Between 2007 and 2011 (latest FBI data) 4,610 people were murdered without any form of weapon.
That's an average of just under one thousand per year.

In other words "unarmed", especially when applied to a violent young adult, doesn't mean a god-damn thing - except for talking points for lawyers, slogans for protesters, and most important of all, outrage driven ratings for news media.

Do you remember the temporary teapot tempest of "bath salts" a few years back?
It was a designer drug - one made by underground chemists to get around drug laws on the technicality that the government couldn't make a substance illegal that didn't exist yet.  It gave people a mild high, supposedly something remotely akin to MDMA, but you could buy it at gas stations.
Then supposedly some guy who was high on "bath salts" literally bit off a homeless man's face.
Remember that?
Did you ever look any deeper into the real details of that case?
The medical examiner found NO trace of bath salts in the suspect's blood.  Zero.  There was no evidence that he had ever taken them in his life.  All he was on was plain old ordinary marijuana and alcohol.
You want to know where the "bath salt" story came from?
A very smart police public relations official.
Because the guy who ate a homeless guy's face was Black.  And the cop who responded and shot him was Cuban.  There was a lot of racial tension between the two groups in Miami in 2012, and the public relation's officer knew how much the media LOVE to repeat stories about "unarmed" black men getting shot by cops.
So he just made the entire story up, on the spot.
It was brilliant.  It worked.

Try having your face chewed off while you are sleeping, and then come back and tell me how relevant being "unarmed is".

Oh, sorry, that was a digression.  Lets go back to Zimmerman.
Lets have you get tackled onto the concrete unexpectedly, and have a young man staddle you, slam your head into the pavement a couple times, and then punch you repeatedly in the face, and then if you survive, you can talk to me about how being "unarmed" is interchangeable with "not a threat".  IF you survive, because you can definitely kill a human being by slamming their head into concrete.

Get this straight, and remember it: "unarmed" does NOT mean "innocent", it does not mean "just walking along", and it does not mean "not a threat".  Humans murdered other humans long before guns were invented.

Now, unless you are really paranoid, or you are really deep into the ideology of oppression, if you look at all the available information in the Oscar Grant case, it is outstandingly obvious that most likely explanation is that Officer Johannes Mehserle intended to go for his taser, and accidentally pulled the wrong thing from his belt.  Grant was punching people in public, which is unacceptable behavior, and then he was resisting arrest, so, yeah, he definitely deserved to be tased, but he probably didn't deserve to get shot - which is why no one intended to shoot him.  If that accident counts as "murder", than so should every single death by car accident - literally 100% of all "accidents" are avoidable, and should be better described as negligence.

But the other two cases, there is reason to believe that they were not only integrating physical violence and/or resisting a lawful arrest - they also both (supposedly) tried to grab the gun of the person they attacked.

Of the 203 police officer's who were murdered while on duty between 2010 and 2013, 17 of them had their own guns taken from them by the "suspect".
That's a real thing.  That happens.

And it happens a hell of a lot more often than unarmed Black men getting shot by police.
2 between 2009 and 2014.
Versus an average of roughly 25 police shot by "unarmed" suspects.
25 is more than 2.

Lets get back to our review.

Michael Brown.  Almost 50 witnesses all saw Brown reach into a cop car's window and punch a cop in the face.
Do I really need to type any more than that?
The man reached into a cop car window and punched a police officer in the face.
How does that make him a martyr?


After the Oscar Grant shooting, people started putting up signs that said something to the effect of "I am Oscar Grant".
You sure as hell better not be!  I really hope you don't get into drunken brawls on crowded commuter trains.  I don't know what the hell your parents and peers have been telling you, but that is simply not acceptable behavior in the world of human civilization.  That is not ok.  It doesn't matter how he died, he is not a fucking role model.

And then there was this Facebook post that finally made me want to write this here post: acquitting Darren Wilson amounts to "open season" on "Black men".  You know what?  Fuck you!  That is the most racist fucking thing I have heard in a long time - and its coming from the liberals and activists who proclaim most loudly to be "anti-racist".  I'm sure it isn't the intention, but the implication in that claim is that ALL Black men are violent.  It is saying all Black men might someday punch a cop in the face because he asks us not to walk in the middle of the street.  It is saying that all Black men fight people on commuter trains, ambush and attempt to seriously injure people we feel are "creepy ass crackers", resist arrest, try to grab cop's guns, and commit crime, instigate violence, and generally act obnoxious.
Because those are the people who have gotten shot.

Not a single one was just innocently walking along, minding his own business, when a cop (or neighborhood watch coordinator) jumped out, tried to arrest them for walking while Black, and then just shot them for no other reason than they wanted to experience killing a Black man for themselves.
That is not ever what happens, and yet it is the narrative that America keeps repeating, over and over, in the media and in the streets, because for some insane and sick reason, we, collectively, desperately want it to be true.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bakari,
    Thank you for this post. You've said the things that many of us feel. This is a great service..


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