I think we can agree, last night’s ambush of police in Dallas is a horrible thing. Kids are waking up today without fathers, mothers without sons, wives without husbands. Nothing good will come of it, only more oppression. It is unequivocally a terrible event. Can we agree on that before we move forward?
Agreeing that it is a terrible event, a tragedy even, can we still see and understand the direct causes? The events leading up to the Dallas Massacre are plain to see for anyone caring to look. Follow that link and it is clearly evident that police have been killing unarmed black men for years and years. After the spotlight was shined on the practice with the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, the police still killed 2 unarmed black (mostly) men a week for all of 2015. That is AFTER we identified the problem, and I can only assume it was worse before that.
From this site we get some statistics for 2015:
- Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. Deputy Bates, who killed Eric Harris, will be sentenced May 31.[Bates received 4 years for the charge of second degree manslaughter.]
Read that quote again. Less than 10% prosecution rate and only 20% of those are convicted. Put another way, police only have a 2% chance of being punished for killing an unarmed black person. These numbers seem fanciful, but they are correct. There is a war on, it is a war being fought against (mostly) young black (mostly) men. It is being financed by our tax dollars and is being waged by those who have sworn to protect and serve.
And then events unfold like those in Dallas. We all gape, we act surprised, we stare at the violence porn on CNN/Fox and; in the end, we do nothing.
Do you think we can make it a single week after Dallas without an unarmed black man being murdered under the color of authority?
The right likes to demand that all Muslims apologize for every act of terror. While I believe this is as asinine as asking every cop to apologize for the war on black men, can’t we at least expect these public servants to out the bad apples within their ranks?
While–rightfully so–the thin blue line will get a little thicker after Dallas, we also need to see that same thin blue line as a direct cause of Dallas.
What happened in Dallas is tragic, just as what happened in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis earlier this week are. Tragedy breeds tragedy, and I fear that it is going to get worse.