This weekend’s question/topic/whatever:
Thoughts – Saturday, July 9, 2016 6:50AM
It’s hard to get me riled up about things but events over the past couple days have pushed my limit. My emotions were already high since reading Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. I was nearing the end of the book and the epilogue made me emotional. I get my news late so on Wednesday I learned of Alton Sterling’s death in Baton Rouge, La. With Thursday came news of Philando Castile’s death in Minnesota. Both are Black men and both were shot by police officers hours apart. Then on Friday morning I heard 5 officers died in a sniper shooting in Dallas, Tex. The news shocked me. The officers were targeted?
It’s sad that I’m more shocked by the officers’ death than that of the Black men. The death of Black people by the hands of authority figures in the U.S. is such a common thing that some of us have become desensitized to it, hence the push of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to build awareness about how Blacks are treated.
I was saddened by these events that occurred in quick succession, but I was angered by the response to the sniper shooting. Some folks saw this as payback for what the police have done to minorities, going so far as to rebuke others for expressing sympathies for the cops if such sympathies weren’t shared for the Black men (I saw such statuses on social media), while others were angered because of confusion and chaos that could result from the sniper shooting. Others, I guess, were overwhelmed by it all.
I was one of the angry ones and I was angry for several reasons. I won’t go into all the reasons, but the first was the social media statuses telling others not express sympathies for the officers if such sympathies weren’t shared for Sterling or Castile. I think that’s petty.
I was also angry at how some people reacted to the news of the officers’ deaths as if they do not matter. They do matter. Black Lives Matter and so do the lives of others. I want the people of my race to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. I don’t want them to be killed by the police, but I don’t want the treatment of my race to improve at the expense of others. We push to be treated humanely, for others to notice how Blacks are treated and help to change that so I think we should lead by example.
When I saw those statuses and reactions, it was not yet announced what the sniper’s intention were: Was it revenge for what the police have done to Blacks or was it to take advantage of moment, high emotions, chaos, and all? I think it certainly shows that the potential is there for people to take matters into their own hands in a drastic way. It shows that this could turn ugly. There is much for Black folks to be angry about and to be so angry that such a thing as shooting the police seems like a solution. When you hear that your race is targeted and you live that reality every day, it makes you angry and want to lash out. But more violence is not the solution and ignoring the plight of others, as others have done to us, does not help either. Police shooting Blacks, Blacks shooting the police; it’s still humans hurting humans.
What I plan to read:
I started reading Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown, but it kept making me sleepy and bored so I stopped for now. I really need entertainment so I picked up Royal Assassin so I can catch up to Embuhlee liest to buddy-read the third book, if possible. And Scarlet is due at the library next weekend so I have to speed through that shit. This is why I don’t like borrowing books.