Dear America, Stop Letting Cops Kill Us…
1:51 PM EDT on April 15, 2015
By now, you've surely seen the shocking video of Eric Harris dying after being accidentally shot by some part-time Barney Fife Oklahoma deputy. If you're like me, your first thought upon seeing this video was "NO. WAY."
Thanks, Oklahoma. Anytime this stuff happens, it hurts. This one hurts even more because Oklahoma is my home. No matter where I go in this world, no matter what I do, Oklahoma is tatted on my back. I never take that for granted. And every time some dumb shit happen in Oklahoma, I have to tell the people "That’s an isolated incident. Oklahoma is not like that. I promise.”
Well, Oklahoma, thanks for making me look like an idiot. No matter how well I treat Oklahoma, it always finds a way to shoot me in the back. It always finds a way to make me a liar. Maybe I should change what I say to “Yeah man it’s fucking stupid up there, glad I got out.”
This incident is absolutely disgusting. Even more so, is the reasoning behind it. HOW DO YOU MISTAKE A TASER FOR A GUN? Hold on, let me rephrase that: HOW DO YOU, A POLICE OFFICER WITH AMPLE TASER/GUN TRAINING, MISTAKE A TASER FOR A GUN? Actually, let me rephrase again: HOW DO YOU, A PART-TIME DEPUTY WHO ONLY GOT THIS GIG BECAUSE HE DONATED MONEY AND GUNS TO THE SHERIFF MISTAKE A TASER FOR A GUN?
Even more mind-blowing than the shooting was how the cops reacted...
“I’m losing my breath.”
“FUCK YOUR BREATH!!!”
Excuse me? You “accidentally” shoot me, then have no remorse for the fact that I’m lying on the ground dying while you smash my face into the pavement with your knee? Fuck my breath? Really?
I also ENJOYED this...
“Shut the fuck up. You ran.”
Well, maybe I ran because you have untrained deputies who don't know a taser from a gun? Which begs the question: why is a 73-year old man insurance broker allowed to play cop? You don't give a 73-year-old rich man a firearm and cop badge then expect him to think he’s Dudley Do-Right. I could talk about gun control and blah blah blah, but it’s not even that. Remember, “Guns don't kill people, people kill people.” What genius thought of that? It’s so simple. So very simple. Yes, there needs to be some kind of gun regulation set in place that keeps psychopaths from obtaining them. However, let’s be real, you can't keep people from doing shit. You could only make it more difficult for them. Unless you're talking about being black in America, because then, yeah, you can definitely keep people from doing shit.
Adding insult to injury: this isn’t the first time cops in Oklahoma have been in the news for some fuck boy shit. They kill dozens of people a year. Remember the cops killing Luis Rodriguez outside of Warren Theater? They got off. Remember the cop shooting Dane Scott Jr. in Del City? He was convicted of manslaughter. When I read about that I was like “Wow, really?!” That’s where we are in America today. I have to actually wonder if a cop will be punished for his wrongdoings, which means it’s time for society to open its eyes and ADMIT that these repeated cop on black shootings are a real problem in America. I mean, honestly, you have to be the most naïve person alive to believe it’s all just a coincidence. By naïve, I mean idiotic.
When I first watched this video, I instantly thought of the victim’s family. I know what it’s like to have a family member murdered. I know what it’s like to receive that phone call. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. But yet, here we are. In America, land of the free, here we are, and people are getting the call every fucking day. Seriously, think about it, what about that man’s family? For all we know he could have a wife and kid at home. How do you explain to a wife that her husband was “accidentally” murdered? By a cop? By a cop that mistook his gun for a taser? How? How do you explain to a kid that the police, the supposed protectors of society, are the reason his father is never coming home again? How? Please, explain to me how. I would love to understand. Because I 100% don’t.
And I know people will read this and text/call me on some “I’m sorry to hear about..” and I appreciate that, but don’t be sorry to hear my story. Be sorry that there are thousands of stories just like it. Really, for a second, I just ask that everyone put their personal biases aside, and just look at this situation, and this world, from a human being’s perspective. Shit is fucked up out here.
As I sit here typing this I have tears falling from my eyes because I’m so overwhelmed with emotion. This world scares the living shit out of me. I’m not only scared for myself, but it scares the shit out of me to know that one day I’m going to bring a child into this world, and regardless of if it’s from a black woman, white woman, blue woman, orange woman, etc., that kid is still going to be considered a black man/woman by America’s standards. And that means one thing: they are not safe. They are not as protected by the law. They are not as valued as citizens. They are not as respected as humans. They will constantly walk around with a target on their back, while people continue to tell them they’re unjustified in feeling that way. If you’re willing to debate that, then you’re either ignoring reality, or you’re a fucking idiot. Both are equally as dangerous.
Now there’s going to be those people who say “What are you going to do to change it?” people. Look man, as 25-year-old black man, I honestly have no answers. If I did, trust me, I would do anything in my power to protect our people. But the fact of the matter is, I can’t. No amount of marches, no amount of speeches, no amount of protests, and no amount of thought-provoking articles are going to stop the next cop from pulling that trigger. But you know what will? Charges, convictions, and outrage from white people. Yes, I said it: white people. Nothing in America gets done unless it bothers white people. Period. That’s the truth and I won’t apologize for it. Black people can scream all day long about the injustices in America, we have been from the beginning, but until white people in general say “Hey, whoa, something is wrong here”, NOTHING will change. How many well-publicized stories have we seen about black people getting gunned down in the past three years? I mean, shit, between the Tulsa shooting and the man in South Carolina, you’ve seen two videos in just the past 7 days. Two fucking videos in one week. And can you imagine what the headlines would’ve been if those videos didn’t exist?
“Nigger runs from cops, cop saves the world from supervillain.”
Excuse my language. I hate no other word more than nigger, but this is reality. It’s the reality of the world we live in and I’m not going to sugarcoat it anymore to avoid making people feel uncomfortable. People SHOULD feel uncomfortable. People SHOULD be pissed off. But instead, people will focus on the fact that I just said “white people”, instead of the overall point I’m making about where power lies in America and who has the real ability to change things.
And of course, there’s going to be those people who say...
“What about black-on-black crime?”
Shut the fuck up, because clearly your main focus is turning the heat away from cops and whites, instead of focusing on the central issue. Your whole goal of breaking down the loss of innocent lives into a statistics quiz about white-on-black vs. black-on-black contributes absolutely nothing to the solution. This isn’t a numbers game. This isn’t game of Blackjack. This isn’t Poker. We aren’t throwing dice against the wall. This is real fucking life, dog.
Or those who say...
“All cops aren’t bad.”
If all cops aren’t bad, then maybe the not-bad cops should stand up and speak out against the all-bad cops. You’re not going to convince me that the not-bad cops aren’t 100% aware of the all-bad cops. So maybe the not-bads should say “Ya know what, these idiots are making us all look bad, we need to get these idiots out of here so we can do our jobs the right way.” But hey, what do I know? I’m just a kid with Microsoft Word.
“But look at his criminal past”
That's true. He did have a criminal past. So what? No amount of prior convictions can justify shooting an unarmed man, especially one who poses absolutely no threat to your life. None. Zero.
“Cops kill white people too.”
First of all, WHEN? Second of all, WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE POINT I’M MAKING?! COPS SHOULDN’T BE KILLING ANYONE. They were put here to protect us and they’re doing anything but that. Open your mind, open your eyes, and stop being so damn stupid.
“Why are you so angry? It’s not like you’d be in that situation.”
I think the people around me tend to forget who the fuck I am. Regardless of my socioeconomic status, I am a black man in America. Nothing changes that. Yes, I grew it up a big-ass house in a nice neighborhood. Yes, my parents both drive German engineered vehicles. Yes, I went to predominately white schools. Yes, I have more white friends than black. Yes, I’ve dated more white women than black. Yes, I think Taylor Swift makes incredible music. Yes, I have a closet full of tailored suits and expensive button down shirts. Yes, I have a college degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the nation. Yes, I have a GREAT career in the corporate world. No, I don’t have money problems. In fact, I don’t have many problems at all. Life is fucking sweet over here. And at the end of the day, none of that means a damn thing when I step foot outside of the door every day. I am a black man, and to a cop, or society in general for that matter, I’m no different than the nigga in the hood standing on a corner throwing crack rocks at pedestrians in order to throw some 26” rims on his Cutlass Supreme. I want people to stop trying to create false levels of “blackness” that they feel enable people to speak on subjects and feel a certain way. Black is black. Wrong is wrong. So please, America, stop letting cops kill us.
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