I don't get it. Why is this suddenly such a big topic? Just because of one guy? There isn't any more police violence right now than there was a few months ago, or than there will be in a few months when everyone will have forgotten about this. Just like in a few months people will be outraged because of the next school shooting, and will then forget about it the week after.
Also, why are people acting like this is the biggest problem in the world? It's clearly not. Some people are even going as far as saying that you're not allowed to question it's importance. They are calling other people out for 'staying silent'. That's stupid. Any issues can and should be questioned, within reason of course. Otherwise you're creating a dangerous hivemind in which no one is allowed to deviate from the accepted opinion. More and more, people are not able to accept a different opinion anymore.
By the way, is there any actual proof that the killing of that guy had anything to do with racism? Or is that just the default assumption now? And is there even any actual statistical proof that black people are being targeted by the police? People are acting like that's an objective fact, but I'm kind of sceptical. Yes, I know that the number of black people getting shot is a lot higher than the number of white people. But I don't think that it's that simple.
The number of blacks versus whites getting killed by the police matches quite well with the total crime rate of blacks versus whites. No, I am not saying that black people are inherently more criminal. What I am saying is that poverty is a serious problem in the black community. And poverty is often quite directly the reason why people get involved in crime. Especially crimes like street violence, robbery and drug dealing. I would imagine that these are the exact types of crimes that could potentionally get you shot by the police. So why aren't people protesting economical inequality instead?
I do realise that the correlation between people getting shot and people living in poverty is not perfect. However, it is definitely strong enough to be noted and to nuance this whole 'cops being racist' thing. The issue is clearly a lot more complex than that. But apparently nobody cares about that. That's what bothers me most about this outrage (or any outrage for that matter): there is no room for nuance. Everything needs to be as simple and extreme as possible, since that's what gets people to share it on the internet.
I think that unnuanced outrages like these are a direct cause for the growing political polarisation. I searched on the internet for more level-headed opinions on the matter, but I was severely disappointed. Basically, most of the people who I found disagreeing with the protests are far right racists, who were pushing an opinion that was of course even less nuanced. Apparently, you're only allowed to choose between two opinions nowadays: left or right. Anything in between will make each side think that you actually secretly belong to the other side.
Remember, reality is rarely as simple as a headline or a Twitter post.
(Btw, why do issues like climate change or people dying in poor countries never get this amount of outrage, despite being objectively far worse? Could it be because people would rather not change their own behaviour, since it's a lot easier to just paint the police as evil monsters so you can feel better about yourself?)
It's seems like this should have a simple answer but it doesn't. I'm a black male and a former police officer. I'm just going to make a few comments based on my experience. The area I lived in was about 50/50 black and white with a small percentage of "other" races.
-We would arrest roughly half and half. Yes, often for different crimes but still, on any given month, it seemed about the same, give or take.
-Despite the previous statement, it seemed like the jail held like 75% black and maybe 25% other. This was just my area so take it with a grain of salt. I did notice that black people often couldn't bond out of jail, no matter how low the bond was.
-On a select few occasions, my arrests just disappeared. Never heard anything about them again. Never went to court. No idea what happened. I have seen people walking out and back on the streets before the paperwork was even done. I'll leave that one alone.
-White people on the whole seemed more cooperative. Yes, I've had to fight and chase after them but if somebody was going to resist, I'd say 2/3 of the time, it was a black person.
-White officers did seem to be more afraid of black people. Often seemed like they were over reacting. Maybe it's because they were dealing with another race and they just didn't know how to relate. I don't know.
-On occasion, i got assigned certain tasks simply for my skin color. Even got credit for certain warrants even though I played a small role. In some ways, I think I was used for political reasons. Working clubs, a dinner for MLK's brother, talking to kids, they made sure I was present.
-I have personally seen black people treated different. Over time, some cops start feeling like everyone is guilty of something. It's just something that slowly creeps over them. Years of dealing with people at their worst. I think they start hating people. They say they don't but you can kinda pick up on it.
-Maybe 60 years ago, a generation of blacks were denied many rights and education. That spilled into their kids and their grandkids. Think of what life would be like if your grandparents had to start with almost nothing (and who's to say they didn't? I know lots of white families that have struggled and still struggle). That translates to their children and, even though things eventually changed on paper, a lot of people's hearts stayed the same. There's still that hatred being passed down. I've seen it from both blacks and whites.
-long post. Probably rambling. Probably answered none of your questions. I get scatterbrained sometimes when I have a lot to say and only a few minutes to say it. Gotta go to bed. I'll just say that people want things to get better/change but often don't have the words to articulate exactly what they want. That doesn't make their feelings and complaints invalid. We all need to compromise and maybe have a little empathy.
It's easy for many to say "Everyone in that group is wrong and they need to change" rather than admit that "Maybe my group is part of the problem". And people get defensive so quickly. But, nearing my mid 40s, I can say things are mostly better than they were when I was in my 20s. They're better than they were when my mom was younger. My mom's youth was better than her grandparents. And I feel like we're on track for things to be even better...if we just focus on the good.
Or maybe I'm just naive. Have a good night.