Important Discussions: Oppression

Recently, I was working my way around facebook and twitter – my social lounges – when I happened upon a particularly concerning bit about this video:

Mainly, the complaint was that this was the ruining of a good evening and performance and that, while the situation is somewhat understandable, this should simply be left to the justice system to handle. To this I would reply with the following video:

However, I don’t think even this video even captures the full essence of my thoughts, so I will attempt to write them here and be as candid as I can. To be honest, there is a certain nervous energy I have about this post, but I need to write it. Let me start by saying that I am not here to insult or disparage anyone. I am simply speaking from observation and a ton of compassion here.

That said, I pose this question: how dare you?

It takes a special brand of I-don’t-even-know-what to be able to ask people that are oppressed by the justice system to trust that system to dispense justice. I don’t know if you have been following twitter or the news or any of this stuff that – for most people – is still somehow on the periphery and not the forefront of their minds, but I cannot ask any person to trust a justice system that to date has:

  • pointed military-grade guns at them
  • snatched them off the sidewalk during peaceful protest and jailed them, then released them without bond or paperwork
  • ignores orders from the Dept. of Justice to wear name tags which are standard items on their uniform
  • greets their requests for justice with tear gas and riot gear

to name a few things.

I do not understand how anyone in good conscience can ask these people not to interrupt anything at all. A musical, a football game, a parade… anything at all. How do you ask people to remain silent so as not to ruin yours (or anyone else’s) day when I can see things like this:

Here, I pose another question: what would it take?

Exactly what would have to happen in this nation to make someone care about these people? I want to say people do. They probably do. They might even feel bad about that. The problem is that, after that feeling, we change the channel. This isn’t our life, our kid, our job, our community, so we don’t care because we are tired of hearing about kids being shot for what amounts to their skin color and the paranoia around it after everything is said and done and with the occasional moment of accountability for the people – namely police – that are killing them. Rioting and such will not bring them back, but it may be a necessary step to make sure that the murders – yes, MURDERS – stop.

It should speak volumes to the issue of racism in this country when there are people celebrating the guilty verdict of Michael Dunn because of how rare it is that the justice system actually does its job.

When Amnesty International is getting involved, I think that should be enough to warrant a little bit of interruption to your day. To be blunt about it, screw your feelings for a moment and try to care about someone that isn’t you.