Monday, December 22, 2014

NYPD Shooting: Blue Lives Matter - The Atlantic

The tragic truth is that in this tragedy - a Black madman seizing on the headlines to murder two policemen- many find justification for their preference: the police stop, frisk, arrest, and when necessary shoot who they must.  And those people are mostly Black because that is who the bad guys usually are, as Rudy Giuliani bluntly says.  To me there is a word for it: prejudice.  Of course it is on East 189 Street not East 89 Street that your iPhone 6 is most likely to be snatched.  The point is not that purse snatchers should not be arrested.  It is the presumption of Black criminality that pervades and burdens the lives of Black people in America.  - gwc
NYPD Shooting: Blue Lives Matter - The Atlantic
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The reactions to the murders of two New York police officers this weekend have been mostly uniform in their outrage. There was the predictable gamesmanship exhibited in some quarters, but all agree that the killing of Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos merits particular censure. This is understandable. The killing of police officers is not only the destruction of life but an attack on democracy itself. We do not live in a military dictatorship, and police officers are not the representatives of an autarch, nor the enforcers of law handed down by decree. The police are representatives of a state that derives its powers from the people. Thus the strong reaction we have seen to Saturday's murders is wholly expected and entirely appropriate.
For activists and protesters radicalized by the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, this weekend's killing may seem to pose a great obstacle. In fact, it merely points to the monumental task in front of them. The response to Garner's death, particularly, seemed to offer some hope. But the very fact that this opening originated in the most extreme case—the on-camera choking of a man for a minor offense—points to the shaky ground on which such hope took root. It was only a matter of time before some criminal shot a police officer in New York. If that's all it takes to turn Americans away from police reform, the efforts were likely doomed from the start.
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