Saturday, July 9, 2016

Three Articles About Police Killed By A Black Man & Black Men Killed By Police

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents excerpts from three articles about five Dallas, Texas police officers being killed by a Black man and two Black men killed in two separate United States cities by White police officers within one week.

The content of this post is presented to highlight these articles, thus helping to increase the number of people who read their authors and commenters made.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. RIP all who have lost their lives this week.

These articles are presented in the order that I read them.
Article Excerpt #1:
From "Five Dallas police officers were killed by a lone attacker, authorities say" by Joel Achenbach, William Wan, Mark Berman and Moriah Balingit July 8 [2016]
"...Along with the five officers who died, seven others were wounded Thursday night when sniper fire from what turned out to be a lone gunman turned a peaceful protest over recent police shootings into a scene of chaos and terror.

The gunfire was followed by a standoff that lasted for hours when the attacker told authorities “he was upset about the recent police shootings” and “said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown. The gunman was killed when police detonated a bomb-equipped robot.

After the bloodshed — the deadliest single day for law enforcement officers since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — authorities said they were investigating the shooting and would need several days to continue exploring the crime scene downtown. Officials said two civilians were also injured in the attack."....

Article Excerpt #2:
"Dallas and American ‘contradictions’" by Alexandra Petri July 8 [2016]
"Some people on the Internet seem to be confused. “In the aftermath of twelve people being tragically shot for no reason in Dallas,” they wonder, “how will Black Lives Matter be able to continue being upset about people getting tragically shot for no reason in other places?”

“How will the Black Lives Matter movement square its criticism of police with this deadly shooting of five police officers?” It doesn’t seem hard. Its agenda is “people don’t deserve to be shot for no reason” and that the category of “people who don’t deserve to be shot for no reason” explicitly includes black people.

There’s no contradiction here.

Other people are busy being eloquent with grief and rage, but I can at least make some analogies to help explain why this line of thinking is bad. There is such a thing as constructive criticism.

It’s like if you said, “I want ice cream machines not to malfunction and kill people,” and then everyone said, “So, you hate ice cream machines?” No. You just want the ice cream machine to do its job, and not kill people. You are not opposed to what it is supposed to be doing, just to what it is actually doing. You are all for it doing what it is supposed to do! What it is supposed to do is great!....

A great deal of our self-esteem is dependent upon not fully seeing ourselves. But the first step, as they say, is admitting you have a problem. You don’t have to pretend that America was better than it was to insist that it can be better than it is. To point out that America has a problem with race, or that our police forces are not living up to the ideals we set for them is not to say you hate America or hate the police. You’re saying that you really like America as a concept, that the ideas that animate this country – free speech, free assembly, being created equal — are wonderful ideas and worthy of belief. You’re saying that we need to stop America from malfunctioning, so we can give it to our kids. Even if the malfunction has been there as long as we have, you’re saying there’s hope.

There is no contradiction in that, either."

Article #3 [with comments from that article's readers]
From "Let's be consistent! Let's condemn violence against cops AND violence against black folks #STDDs#BLM" by JoanMar
"As a group, the members of Support the Dream Defenders reject terrorism and violence in any and every form, whether that murderous violence is police-on-citizens or citizens-on-police....

This. must. stop.

In this week (7 days from June 30 to July 7 — 10:30 PM ) alone, in addition to Alton and Philandro, police killed 23 other Americans!

Let’s repeat that:

American police killed 25 people in the last 7 days!"....
"Alton" refers to Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was shot and killed by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department on July 5, 2016. The shooting was captured on video and immediately ignited protests in various communities throughout the USA.

"Philandro" [name mispelled] is a referent for Philando Castile, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana Black man who was shot and killed on July 7, 2016 after the police pulled him over for a traffic violation. [Also, read another referent to the shooting death of Philando Castile below.]
Selected comments from this article
BlkProphet79 [in response to JoanMar's article] Jul 08
"Ultimately, I recognize you are correct in your calls for consistency. On the surface, I know that. My heartfelt apologies for lashing out. The last couple of days have been harrowing and at work, I’ve found myself as the defacto spokesperson for all the perceived ills of black America and it’s maddening. Such nonsense.

My issue is one of scale. I’ll keep it 100 with you. I find it incredibly difficult to condemn violence against cops AND violence against black folks least not right now. For me, it’s way to soon and the scales are nowhere near balanced.

You didn’t deserve that as your diaries clearly show you as an ally. Again, my apologies."

JoanMar - BlkProphet79
"Your apology is accepted. I am not an ally, I am a black woman. Yes, I know, this has been a terrible week for all of us. I told group members backstage that I have not felt pain such as I felt this week since my daughter died last year. I was on the kitchen floor sobbing after I heard Diamond’s little 4-year-old daughter comforting her mom after she herself had just been through a horrendous experience.

I know what you are saying and I know how you feel. Cops on the beat will feel fear, but they volunteered for the job, and they know that anyone who dares to violate them will get punished to the full extent of the law...or worse. Cops are agents of the state with the power to kill. I saw grown black men crying on tv this week. Our menfolk know that they cannot protect themselves, cannot protect their wives and children from the police. As Charles Blow said, he has nowhere to run to protect himself and his family. No one but another black person knows the fear we feel for ourselves and our loved ones.

You are forgiven."
"Diamond" is the fiancee of Philando Castile. Philando Castile was killed in his car while reaching for his wallet in response to a policeman asking to see his drivers' license. Diamond and their four year old daughter were also in the car at that time.

Terre slipper Jul 09 [written in response to another commenter who wrote that Black Lives Matter protestors who chant "No Justice No Peace" means that the chanters support violence.]
"I don’t hear the phrase “No Justice No Peace” in the same way you do. What I hear is a shortened catch phrase that says to me “If there is no justice, there can be no peace.” The “no peace” does not mean violence.

Peaceful protests are a part of our history as a nation, and do serve a purpose. A protest is “a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something.”"

Terre Jul 09
Poster shown that reads:
"Yes. It’s possible. You can be
just as outraged
over the murder of Black people by cops
as you are at the murder of cops.
Don’t ask people to make a choice.
Life is life."
-Linda Sarsour 2016

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  1. Upfront, I am white, foreign and female. Put my comment in that context.

    I feel social media - cell phone footage on the Internet and the ability to form and direct public opinion quickly in response - has established beyond doubt the existence of an institutionalised injustice that many AAs either experienced firsthand, or knew of from trusted personal testimony, but could not before objectively prove - because mainstream media, newsprint and TV, previously filtered this information in such a way that doubt could be cast on whether institutionalised prejudice was the main driver for these statistically excessive deaths, or whether they were entirely the personal responsibility of those killed.

    I say 'prove' but don't yet mean in terms of inarguable statistics, or in front of a government investigative committee, or in a courtroom. But in the wider court of public opinion I think it's now accepted as fact that there is a big discrepancy between the way the police interact with the black community as opposed to others.

    Unsurprisingly I don't have a quick fix. Randomly shooting white people is obviously a policy I can't personally endorse: randomly shooting policemen would exacerbate the problem - if the problem stems from an unrealistic, exaggerated fear on the part of police of the potential threat they face from AA men.

    I think logging all deaths caused by police in some central, neutrally-compiled database would be a start. Facts and figures help convince suspicious sections of the public that there is a genuine grievance, that overall this is not a case of savvy individuals playing the system to the detriment of honest, hard-working, law-abiding etc etc.

    A (publicly-televised?) government commission to look into the problem, including how better to support the police via training, pay incentives, wearing of bodycams, whatever. Policemen risk and lose their lives as well as taking the lives of others.

    In my lifetime America went from lawful segregation to voting in a Black president. I take strength from that. This generation didn't create the racial mess it inherited but I believe it may be able to go a good way towards sorting it. If it's honest with itself.

    Come on America, you've faced worse before and succeeded.

    1. I woke up to the news that a male friend of a young woman I know was shot five times and his friend shot and killed by two men in the Northside of Pittsburgh. This was a case of Black men injuring and killing other Black men. I believe the young woman when she says that her friend wasn't on drugs and wasn't involved in anything illegal. But she doesn't know anything about the man who was killed. They were standing outside of their car and the other two men pulled up and shot them. It's likely that those men will be caught soon because she was told that someone standing on a porch across the street videotaped the shooting on their cell phone so the police know what the shooters look like.

      This is another feature of the inherited and continuing racial mess.

      I believe the ideas that you wrote -the logging of police shootings, and the public government commission- would help document what has been happening for so long. But that is only part of the mess.

      I'm heart sick about all of this.