I don’t know what happened the night Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown.
Some witnesses say Brown was executed while trying to surrender. Others claim he was shot while trying to grab Wilson’s firearm. I don’t know which version, if either, is true. A family friend has claimed that Wilson suffered a fractured orbital bone while struggling with Brown. I don’t know if that’s true, either.
I do know that Michael Brown was eighteen. I know that he was unarmed. I know that he was black.
And I know that I’m glad that I’m white.
That isn’t a racist statement. I’m glad that I’m white because it means this will almost certainly never be my story. I’m not going to be shot by a police officer. I’m not going to be shot by a drug dealer. I’m not going to go to prison.
But the story is different if you’re black. If you’re a black male, there’s a one in three chance that you’ll be incarcerated at some point in your life. Black people also recieve harsher punishments for the same crimes. You can read more about that here. If a white person shoots a black man, it is more likely to be ruled justifiable homicide than any other kind of shooting.
I also know that the police frighten me.
That, I believe, is intentional. You don’t walk around like this:
Because you want to appear friendly. You don’t drive around like this:
Because you want to inspire confidence. You do it to intimidate. You do it to dominate. You do it to instill fear.
You don’t do it to serve and protect.
American police departments are being given surplus military equipment; during the Obama administration alone, tens of thousands of guns. They’ve also received armored personnel carriers, aircraft, and grenade launchers.
Ostensibly, these weapons of war were meant to fight drug cartels. Now, they are intended to fight terrorists. But in reality, they’re toys.
Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer had this to say about our beloved nation: “The United States of America has become a war zone.” Speaking of his military surplus, mine-proof war wagon, he said, “It’s a lot more intimidating than a Dodge.”
Michael Gayer lives in a different country that you and I do. He lives in an America that is beset with violence, on the bleeding edge of chaos. He lives in an America where the only thing between good, decent people and violent anarchy is a thin blue line of police officers … in tanks.
America is not a war zone, but Michael Gayer is working to make it one. In his mind, he’s fighting a war, and there is only one available enemy: us.
August 22nd, 2014 by thomas
Tagged as: Current Events