(This is a facebook post written by Jonathan White.)
When someone tells you Jacob Blake would be fine if he just obeyed the police, don’t argue with them about whether disobeying an officer should automatically amount to a death sentence. Just ask them to tell you about Philando Castille and how his obeying an officer’s commands resulted in him being shot to death in front of his young child and girlfriend.
When someone tells you if Jacob Blake wasn’t doing something wrong he’d be fine, don’t argue with them about the report that Blake was simply de-escalating an altercation between two other people. Just ask them to tell you about Tamir Rice and Jordan Crawford III. Ask them why that child and young man were shot and killed while holding fake weapons in a non-threatening way IN AN OPEN AND CARRY STATE without the officers first inquiring whether they even had a permit.
When someone says officers have a tough job and if they feel threatened and fear for their life they should be able to shoot to kill, don’t argue with them about the fact that an officer’s job isn’t even in the top five of most dangerous; don’t argue that they shouldn’t be able to escape accountability because they’re afraid of the work they do. Ask them about Atatiana Jefferson and Rekia Boyd. Ask them why Atatiana was shot by an officer through her window while she was playing video games with her nephew. Ask why Rekia Boyd was shot in the head while walking away from an intoxicated, off-duty police officer with a bruised ego.
When someone says we don’t know the full story and we can’t judge based off of a snippet of the altercation. Don’t argue with them about how Black men and women are frequently judged by an officer’s implicit bias before they even say a word. Ask them about Eric Garner and Ahmaud Arbery whose deaths were filmed yet haven’t received justice without a very public outcry.
When someone says why isn’t there outage when police officers are murdered in cold blood, don’t argue with them about the fact that upwards of 90% of police killings are solved and end in convictions. Ask them about Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove — the three officers who murdered Breonna Taylor. Ask them why those men still haven’t been arrested for killing Taylor while she was asleep in her bed.
Don’t waste your time having logical arguments with people who are so comfortable in their racism or steadfast in their goal to maintain White Supremacy. Instead point out the hypocrisy of their argument and walk away knowing you can’t dissuade every person to recognize their privilege or have any interest in dismantling systemic racism and eliminate racial injustice.