Tonight, I shed tears over the deaths of Police Officer Liu and Police Officer Ramos. It is truly tragic,that these two men were killed by a violent, insane lunatic who shot his girlfriend and then posted his intentions to kill cops on Instagram. The killer said that this was revenge for the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two black men killed this year by white police officers.
I also weep for Michael Brown and Eric Gsrner and for Tamir Rice, a black 12 year old boy who was shot by a rookie cop two seconds after he got out of the car and demanded that Tamir, who was playing with a BB gun, put his hands in the air.
And I weep for family and friends who are so open about excusing the killings of so many black men. Or maybe I weep that they are my family and friends.) The grand juries of Brown and Garner decided there wasn’t enough evidence to even have a trial, and most of my white acquaintances cheered. I don’t understand the decision or the response. The bar is so low for a indictment, that even if Brown had grabbed for the gun, a trial would have cleared the officer’s name. And Eric Garner – the man killed on video – my cousin just posted on Facebook that he was a “hardened criminal,” arrested 30 times, fat and a heart attack waiting to happen. I have seen comments like these over and over, like his death had nothing to do with the pitbull cop who jumped on him, put him in a chokehold, and killed him. People have blamed Obama, DeBlasio, Holder, and the protestors for the deaths of Officers Liu and Ramos, not taking into account the insanity of the killer. He is responsible. Period. But they gleefully throw a wide net of blame, finally able to “prove” that cops are right when they shoot first and ask questions of a corpse later.
The lack of compassion I see in my circles is disheartening. I, a 53 year old white woman living in upstate NY, am attacked for bringing up questions, pontificating, being self-righteous, and liberal. I’m more comfortable nowadays with the under-30 crowd, who seem to see color less than those my age. I feel empathy for all of these people killed, some of whom have acted unwisely, yet didn’t deserve death. And I wonder why it’s so hard for those like me to see the humanity in all of them.
Lastly, I wonder if it pays to speak up to people who get irate when you do, who refuse to self-reflect, to see what darkness they might be dragging along. People who viciously attack anyone who questions their views. The beating I get from them – is it worth it? In this case it was, because my cousin deleted her hateful post and her husband deleted his Facebook account, taking a little bit of hatred off of the site. That makes me feel better about the argument.
I often wonder where the hell I fit in. It’s not in my family or community, that’s for sure.