Thursday, December 04, 2014
Two long reads from Gawker, of all places, on racism and police: Why Should Anyone "Respect" the Law?:
How can you ask people to respect the law when the law does not respect them? How can you remind them of the importance of the process when Missouri and New York are reminding us the process is hopelessly broken?Can You Breathe? Reflections on Non-Indictments, Activism and Black Life
There is a troubling trend in American thought that holds we should "respect" cops as we might "respect" venomous snakes: by staying away from them, by avoiding eye contact, by not making threatening gestures.
It's hard to continue to care. For many of us, by the time we heard the non-indictment of Garner come down we were numb. Some of us got numb when we saw loved ones beaten within an inch of their lives by cops and realized that no one cared—not the grand jury, not internal affairs, not the mayor, not even the politician who promised to get tough on corruption. Some of us have been numbed by what we have access to—hey, who doesn't want to get that 60-inch flatscreen TV on discount? Some of us are numb because the cost of caring is reckoning with the vulnerability we all must come to grips with—you may have three or four college degrees but your skin remains a target. We've got to care enough to fight.
We've got to fight the system. We've got to struggle with ourselves. Love ourselves enough to correct ourselves. Love each other enough to remind each other that we got this. That our ancestors have already showed us ways and walk with us now. We've got to love so that we can see a new day. When I look at my daughter in resting slumber, I get haunted with visions of the reality that she will face. I get scared. I get angry. I fight that with ancestral love. I fight it with knowledge that if we wake up, nothing can put us to sleep. I fight because I love her.
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