You can’t sleep peacefully in your own bed. Not if you’re Breonna Taylor. You can’t go jogging. Not if you’re Ahmaud Arbery. You can’t even walk home snacking on a bag of candy. Not if you’re Trayvon Martin. You can’t do ordinary things and live an ordinary life. Not if you’re Black in America.
I try my best to make people comfortable before plowing into hard subjects, but when it comes to the violence in Black people’s lives, especially when it involves the police, I’m so tired of white people being comfortable – or is it complacent? That George Floyd video ought to make anybody sick. But, in one form or another, that behavior continues. And we still don’t have reforms out of the Massachusetts legislature, let alone Congress.
The decision not to prosecute the officers in Louisville may be technically correct, but it’s wrong. Official violence with impunity is always wrong.
Black people have had enough of being victims of police violence. It’s hard enough to be disproportionately poor, sick, unemployed, isolated and despairing without also having to be shot at when doing ordinary things. It’s hard enough living in a society where — from howling opposition to simple gun safety measures to the movies, music and video games we’re served up — we objectify violence and glorify destruction. But it is too much to ask us to endure official violence over and over again without accountability.
No-knock warrants, like the one the police sought to justify storming into Taylor’s home while she slept, make no one safer. Neither do “stand your ground” laws and so-called “Castle Doctrines.” None of it is about law and order. They work together as a formula for chaos — and as new excuses for killing Black people without consequence.