You can say that this is not about race. But you’d be wrong.
Oh, it’s not ONLY about race. It’s also about economic class warfare, militarized police forces, the profitability of fear-based mass media, and the pervasive culture of bullying, selfish entitlement that has been sold to us under the guise of “American values,” especially within the last decade or so.
But it IS about race.
American cops do not drive up to, attack, assault and then murder white kids in the street, in broad daylight, and believe they can get away with it. Police forces do not close ranks, arrest journalists, shut down air-traffic, and escalate to deadly force when “one of their own” offs a white kid. Media outlets, politicians, and just plain folks do not wave off the protests of people who are protesting a murderous cop if that cop has killed a white kid, or accuse those protesters of being “looters” “of a single continental origin.”
One need only compare and contrast the police and public response to Cliven Bundy’s band of gun-toting white boys with the similar responses to the protesters of Michael Brown’s murder. Or the way cops and pundits treat the white “open carry” enthusiasts, in contrast with the killing of John Crawford in Wal-Mart not 10 days ago. When was the last time you heard about cops arresting a white professor in his own living room, the way police treated Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in July of 2009? And when did campaigning politicians, rock stars, media figures, and even members of Congress publicly call for armed revolt and the “execution” of a white president, even a hated one like Carter or Bill Clinton, over accusations so asinine that they stagger any thinking mind?
And if I was to make the same observations without “playing the race card,” how many of you folks reading this right now would be preparing angry rebuttals or justification-based responses to what I just said?
Oh, it’s also about class warfare, economics, media sideshows, and cops with too many toys for our own good.
But it is about race.
And it’s high time we all stopped deflecting and denying it, and started addressing the goddamned problem.
Because it is reckoning time whether we want to accept that fact or not.
And things could get even uglier than they already are if we don’t start exercising more brains than we have collectively displayed in recent years.