I can’t breathe! I CAN’T breathe! I CAN’T BREATHE! Those three words are reverberating throughout the entire world. What many people in the past brushed off as being anecdotal tales told by black people of their encounters with racist people/police officers are now being confirmed visually because of videos taken of the incidents.
When Mamie Till-Mobley refused to have a closed casket service for her son, Emmett Till, so the world could see the horror of what was done to him, it became one of the defining moments of the 20th century. Cellphone videos of racist incidents are establishing themselves as the defining moments of the 21st century.
With each cellphone video I’ve seen, I thought it couldn’t get worse. The horror of seeing Ahmaud Arbery being chased and gunned down like the killers were on a safari hunt seemed mild compared to watching an almost 10-minute video of George Floyd being asphyxiated by a cop with a knee to his neck. The protests that have followed have been validated as innocent protesters have been physically assaulted by police officers. From a 2-year-old black girl who was being held on her father’s shoulder having a gun pointed at her to a white 75-year-old man being pushed down and left bleeding on the sidewalk, the stereotype of the “ugly American” is ringing true. The police force in many regions of this country are proving they have members who are no different from those of the sadistic regimes of dictators — past and present.
Leadership during this time is proving a rare occurrence. From the stupidity of utterances and tweets out of the president to a response by Mayor One-Term Lori with an F-you to him, it’s no wonder that the guttural behavior of everyday people and institutions is currently on display.
When those who know better don’t do better, the rest of us are left to whatever means we choose. I guess “when they go low, we go high” was simply a great-sounding sound bite with no real meat to it.
I have written in the past that I am not a believer in white supremacy. Because all things have a polar opposite, white supremacy would have an opposite of black inferiority. What I do subscribe to is the notion of white privilege. Its polar opposite is black under-privilege. White privilege is the reason that woman called the police about the man in Central Park who was bird watching and complained in a hysterical voice that an African-American man was threatening her and her dog.
White privilege is the reason many white police officers in an encounter with black people immediately escalate the situation so they can assert their superiority. It’s not just white cops. My cousin was the young college student being seen in the video out of Atlanta being tased and dragged out of his car for no apparent reason. Five of the six cops involved in that incident were black.