Friday, July 24, 2009

Breathing While Black

Do I care that the police are offended by President Obama's assertion that the arrest of Henry Gates was stupid?  Not in the least.  Being caught on tape beating Rodney King didn't change their behavior, as a matter of fact, the police have escalated violence upon citizens of color.  They even shoot pets of mayors even though they don't have any proof that the mayor was involved in a crime.  And never apologize.

Considering that the police have gotten away with shooting so many whose only crime was breathing while black, they deserve to be called more than stupid.  From shooting an unarmed Amadou Diallo 41 times to fatally peppering Sean Bell with four of the 51 bullets fired by undercover officers into a vehicle where none of the suspects had weapons, the police have gotten away with murder time after time.  And they will probably get away with shooting a handcuffed Oscar Grant in the back because that's the way this country rolls.  If you're a black man you don't have the right to exist outside of prison and the police take every opportunity to ensure that as many black men as possible enjoy the hospitality of the the local prison.  Or preferably, the morgue.

Why should an old black man have to call a locksmith to get into his own house?  When melanin impaired people get locked out, they climb through windows or crawl in through the basement and nobody thinks that's odd. Do criminals normally bring chauffeurs when they break into homes? Mr. Gates has been a resident of Cambridge since 1991 and his neighbors don't recognize him?  Or are they so insulated that all black men look alike?

Has it occurred to anyone that after you reach the age of fifty, have received nearly fifty honorary degrees and are returning from China with a bad case of bronchitis to your home in an upscale neighborhood and the police arrive moment later, that maybe, just maybe you might feel like you are being singled out for no other reason than the color of your skin?

And now the poor little officer is thinking of suing.  Well, he and the rest of the police should get over it.  I have neither sympathy nor empathy for their feelings.  They taser pregnant women and people sleeping face down and naked on their own couch, they taser a deaf man wearing nothing but a towel in his own bathroom (after another false report) and claim that they were worried about their own safety, why should anyone have sympathy for them?  If they are that scared, maybe they should find a less stressful job.  Or quit using mass amounts of caffeine followed with the popular donut high, cut back on the steroids and take some stress management classes.

And for the record, at one time I wanted to be a cop.  My dad said they would never take me because I wasn't violent enough, he was right.


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