There has been a lot of uproar recently over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. It has sparked copycats and outrage. His motivation for protest is that the national anthem and our country has not lived by the creed that "all men are created equal", and the recent plethora of videos show how innocent black men are being murdered by police, while dangerous white men get taken alive.
Within the last couple days, two more high-profile police murders have occurred. In Oklahoma, Terrence Crutcher was shot by police while he had his hands up
and in Charlotte, NC, police killed Keith Lamont Scott
for the crime of being the wrong color in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This is just getting way out of hand. The police are supposed to be protecting us - not killing us. The national anthem? It actually has 4 verses
, although we only sing the 1st one. From the end of the 3rd verse and the beginning of the 4th:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Of course - this is from the war of 1812, when the "3/5" compromise was embedded into our Constitution. Was Colin Kaepernick aware of the lyrics in the other verses of the Star Spangled Banner? I don't know. He's certainly aware of the shoddy treatment of non-whites by the establishment over the decades. This latest shooting is just an exclamation point on all of it.
I am going to quote a facebook post by a friend of mine (and Raine), in its entirety:
- Heidi Hollen, 09/20/2016
I have to get something off my chest before I explode. Terence Crutcher's shooting at the hands of a Tulsa police officer is another in a long line of police shooting and killing unarmed black men. In this case, Mr. Crutcher's car broke down after he attended a music class at a local community college. He wasn't pulled over for a petty reason, the man's car broke down. And this was somehow suspicious to the officer who stopped. Suspicious because he was a large black man. That's it. He hadn't just murdered someone or raped a child or robbed a bank. His car broke down. He was not armed. No gun, no knife, no machete or bomb. Some people will say that he should have done A, B and C and then he would not have been shot. I say, the man's fucking car broke down
Why is the officer reacting to a stranded motorist in this way? Why is he assumed to be a "bad dude' and "on something?" Because his skin tone means he's guilty. He did something. He's going to do something. We must shoot first. Then ask questions. People bitch about Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem. This is why. When black men are murdered by police because their car broke down or while reading a book in their car, or while playing with a toy gun in Walmart or while running away, or while just driving down the street as a black man and an officer decides to pull you over for the 56th time in a decade and people are making excuses for the officer's decision to shoot to kill, it's infuriating. Also infuriating is those same people are quick to find a reason to justify it. Well, if he only complied. If he understood playing with a toy gun would freak out nervous white people, if he hadn't run away unarmed, if he hadn't reached for his wallet, if his car hadn't broken down, the officer wouldn't have shot him.
The guy who set bombs in NYC and Jersey was taken alive yesterday. And he was combative. The Aurora Theater shooter was taken alive. The Charleston church shooter was taken alive. The Boston Bomber was taken alive. All of these men had either attempted to kill or had killed. And all are still alive. Dangerous people alive.
Black man whose car broke down is dead. A black man driving down the street with his girlfriend and her daughter is dead. The guy playing with a toy gun is dead. The man reading a book in his car is dead. The man who ran away is dead. There was a video that came out today that appears to show a police officer planting a gun in the vehicle of a suspect who led police on a lengthy chase with the end result the officer shooting and killing him. The gun in question shows only the DNA of the officer not the dead suspect.
Enough is enough. No more. We must all demand police departments fire the bad officers and more importantly, train officers to not escalate situations that are not volatile. And above all, we need to vote in prosecutors who are not afraid of charging officers in these situations. Or have special prosecutors who can and will prosecute. #enough
I couldn't have said it any better.