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Sat May 26, 2018, 04:30 PM

I want a Just Society. Thank God for Black Lives Matter, cell phone videos and #TakeAKnee [View all]

I've been anti-racist all my life. But I've also been white all my life, and there was far too much that I normally did not see. I remember vividly a discussion I had on DU with a Black fellow member about police brutality. We had that discussion here before Black Lives Matter emerged.

Of course I "knew" then that there far too often was harshly unequal treatment by the police of those who are not white. But I also "knew" that policing is a hard job and that there are many individual white cops who do their best to do their job in a fair and unbiased manner. I still know the latter because it still is true. What I didn't sufficiently understand though is just how utterly and pervasively racism penetrates law enforcement (along with virtually every sector of our society.) And I didn't sufficiently realize what a literal threat to their very lives a routine encounter with the police can sometimes be to someone of color in America.

That was first driven home to me during a candid part of that DU discussion I reference above. To provide counterpoint at one point in our dialogue I pointed out something that seemed obvious to me. Namely that there are certain times when all of us might have need to call on the police in the face of a dangerous situation. Though that literally remains true (almost anyone of us would call 911 if there was an active shooter with an assault weapon at our place of work) - I didn't use that example at the time. I used the hypothetical example of a menacing person threatening violence to one's family at their doorstep. Surely all of us want police protection at such a time I naively wrote. But (as now is finally obvious to me) the answer came back "No". My partner in dialogue told me that they would literally fear harm at the hands of the responding police more than the threat posed at their doorstep.

That took me aback. I knew the response was sincere yet it was totally outside of my life experience to have that reaction. I would not hesitate to call the police due to fear of more harm from them than from a potential assailant. But then again I am white. It never occurred to me that any innocent person would feel differently than I did in the face of that scenario. Thanks to Black Lives Matter, cell phone videos and the moral courage of those who participate in high profile protests like #TakeAKnee , it has become impossible for well meaning whites like me to remain oblivious to what my non white sisters and brothers must confront on a daily basis, with their lives sometimes hanging in the balance. Thank you all for helping me to see.

And Fuck Donald Trump and all those like him who play to racism for their own political and personal gain.

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Reply I want a Just Society. Thank God for Black Lives Matter, cell phone videos and #TakeAKnee [View all]
Tom Rinaldo May 2018 OP
msongs May 2018 #1
Uncle Joe May 2018 #2
cyclonefence May 2018 #3
Tom Rinaldo May 2018 #6
RandomAccess May 2018 #4
Tom Rinaldo May 2018 #5