This past week was horrible. Alton Sterling and Philandro Castille were killed by police, among others. In retaliation, 11 Dallas police officers were shot on July 7th with five of them succumbing to their wounds. It’s all horrible. I will post my feelings on the deaths of the officers at a future date.
When people are shot and killed by the police people get mad and post things online. Sometimes they are met with the response of “we don’t have all the facts yet.” This happens often and for a myriad of reasons.
Quite honestly, “we don’t have all the facts yet” sounds a lot like a way to shut something down. That might not be what you think it means, but that is what I take from it. Seeing as though “we don’t have all the facts yet,” I have some questions of my own that I would like to get answered. You know, seeing as though we don’t have all the facts…
First Question: What portion of the facts do we need before we can be upset about something?
So “we don’t know all the facts” is a popular way to try to shut down talks about this matter. But what amount of the facts do we need? 50%? 60%? 70%? What amount of information do we need to be able to actually have this conversation? And who defines those amounts? And how will we know when we’ve made it? Is there a thermometer available? At what amount of information will we be able to say “okay, something is wrong here and we need to talk about it? And what percentage did Dan Patrick have before he said the most intelligent thing ever?
Next Question: Is there a manual for how to make it through a police encounter? And did Black America get that memo?
Philandro Castille’s shooting worries me the most because he did everything almost completely right. He had no prior felonies** and had a permit for his firearm. He even told the officers that he had a gun. He had a long time job. He did almost everything right. And he is still dead.
There has been talk about his noncompliance with police officers. He told the officers that he had a gun and he continued to reach for his ID because the officers told him to. Many of my friends have indicate that a person who is stopped by police needs to comply with police officers because if they don’t then they could end up dead. But when did noncompliance with police become a capital crime? And in what state? Can anyone show me that penal code section?
Meanwhile there are documented incidents of others acting badly with police and not being shot 4 times. When it comes to this, what are we supposed to do? How are black people supposed to make it through police encounters? Is there a memo as to how to make it through an encounter with police? And if so can we get that memo? Did you forget to CC us? Did you leave it on the printer for the cleaning crew to come and get?
Since that memo is still on the printer, there are several resources that I’ve seen online. Parents, if you have a child, then show this to them when they reach 10 years of age. Or however old Tamir Rice was. Go over this with them. If you aren’t explaining this to them, then you aren’t parenting.
Next Question: When is Black America going to start the #BurnYourNRACardChallenge?
At first when I was going to write this I was wondering when the NRA was going to make a statement backing up Castille at least**. But no statement came. It seemed hypocritical that the leading gun rights association wouldn’t make a statement as to whether a person who legally carried a firearm had a right to not get shot with it by the police.
I wasn’t alone in thinking that apparently. The NRA did finally make a statement:
— NRA (@NRA) July 8, 2016
I guess they’re waiting because “we don’t have all the facts yet.”
When did the NRA become TheBlaze? The NRA is not for black people. It’s pretty clear. Any black member of the NRA should burn their membership card. We chould make it the #BurnYourNRACardChallenge. Go ahead and use that song from the #RunningManChallenge. It’s catchy.
I hope we get those questions answered. I’ll be sitting here learning how to contour my nose so I don’t get implicated in a robbery and get shot for it.
**Alton Sterling had priors (and as such, was legally prohibited from having a firearm at least on the federal level), but having a criminal record is not a capital offense punishable by death. It just isn’t.