I despair. There is no hope. The United States is too deeply broken, burdened with flawed ideas of justice, too hateful of equality. Even the most obvious, easy ethical principles are discarded by the people in power. Kenosha is just the latest example. There will be others tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Kenosha exposes the inexcusable nature of policing in this country. You would think that it would be apparent to anyone that a gun is not a universal solution to every problem, and that you don’t use deadly force in response to offenses that do not threaten others. Not to the cops! They responded to a “domestic incident”, witnessed an unarmed man, Jacob Blake, walking away, and shot him in the back. It ought to be a strongly enforced rule in the police that you do not react to a non-death penalty offense, one in which no one is under threat of harm, with an extrajudicial execution. If someone is rampaging with a long gun and murdering people, you can make a case for stopping them with a firearm; if someone is walking away from a disturbance, even if they were responsible for it, and doing nothing but getting into a car with their kids, you do not have cause to shoot them. It’s really that simple. Go ahead, let them drive away. You’ve got their license plate number, you’ve seen and can ID the individual, you have body cam photos of the guy. It’s OK. Getting into a car, even getting into a car while black, is not a crime, and is not a threat.
But our cops are trigger-happy, and think that disrespecting them by disobeying a shouted command is grounds for immediate execution. That has to stop. It is unconscionable. The entire squad of police who committed this atrocity need to be immediately fired and charged with a violent crime. Instead, the police are defending this attempted murder. As usual, they’re raking through Jacob Blake’s history to find anything that makes him less than a divine angel, smearing him to justify their actions.
More than defunding the police, we need to disarm the police, simply to short-circuit their knee-jerk tendency to solve every difficulty with a bullet. No more guns. Have a small force trained to use guns that are only deployed when the circumstances warrant…and 99% of the circumstances police deal with do not warrant firearms.
Kenosha adds another twist. I said that maybe the police could justify using firearms if someone is rampaging with a long gun and murdering people? They had exactly that situation. Two people are dead and another is maimed because a punk kid saw the protests as an excuse to gun down people in the street. The police aided him. They praised him for showing up at protest with a long gun, which is already insane — this is a situation that desperately requires de-escalation, and they encourage random civilians to intrude with a display of weaponry?
The cops are guilty, guilty, guilty of enabling and provoking the violence in Kenosha.
But further, the actual murderer is a product of a culture that rewards obsession with guns. That’s not changing. Right now I’m seeing people treating the murderer as a hero, while Jacob Blake deserved it. The rot is threaded throughout the core of American society. As usual in this country, it’s also an infection erupting around skin color.
The murderer has been arrested driving away from Kenosha — I don’t know how that happened, shouldn’t he have been shot in his car? — and has been charged with first-degree murder. Anyone want to take any bets on whether that charge sticks? I’m going to guess he’ll pull a George Zimmerman.
2 dead in Kenosha.
It starts at the root: America founded on White Supremacy.
It's led from the top: Trump is outright FASCIST.
Only 1 way to stop it: The PEOPLE.
Protest Sept 5: Trump/Pence Out Now.
— Sunsara Taylor (@SunsaraTaylor) August 26, 2020
The protests are still going on in Minneapolis, by the way. This is a fire that is spreading, and it’s not going out as long as police- and gun-culture are not torn down.