To paraphrase a post Doc showed me, “You know things are bad if Utah is rioting.” And things are bad. As someone whose race and privilege has made sure all my interactions with police are safe and cordial, I have no right to talk about “the right way” people should protest.
But this isn’t right, either:
Nor is this:
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No justice. No peace. One of the men 4 men who killed George Floyd has been charged with third-degree murder. It doesn’t feel like a victory. A man is still dead and police officers know that most of the time, there will be no repercussions for the violence they inflict. When you see this whole image, when you don’t slice it up into 10 small pieces, all that’s visible is one long bar. Killing after killing that goes unpunished. That’s why people are still protesting *after* the news that Derek Chauvin has been charged. It’s not nearly enough. Let’s go back to the start and look at the 25 times that police officers supposedly had to face consequences for their actions. History tells us that even if all four men who killed George are convicted, their sentences will be generous (unlike the way the criminal justice punishes black men). Here is a breakdown of the sentences that were given those 25 times: ➖ Unknown sentence = 4 ➖ Just probation = 3 ➖ 3 months in jail = 1 ➖ 1 year in jail, 3 years suspended = 1 ➖ 1 year in prison = 1 ➖ 18 months in prison = 1 ➖ 2.5 years in prison = 1 ➖ 4 years in prison = 1 ➖ 5 years in prison = 1 ➖ 6 years in prison = 1 ➖ 16 years in prison = 1 ➖ 20 years in prison = 1 ➖ 30 years in prison = 2 ➖ 40 years in prison = 1 ➖ 50 years in prison = 1 ➖ life in prison = 3 ➖ life in prison without parole, plus 16 years = 1 Source: Mapping Police Violence (run by @samswey, @iamderay & @MsPackyetti)
It’s more than “one bad cop.” It’s more than police brutality, even. It’s this:
(and if that quote makes you feel immediately defensive, can I suggest reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo? I read it last year and yeah, it’s uncomfortable, but that’s the point)