While we are consumed with watching the White House Clown Show directed by the Clown in Chief, black Americans continued to be slaughtered by law enforcement with seeming impunity. While we are finding out the answer to how many white men can fit in one Presidential Cabinet, many black Americans feel like any encounter with law enforcement, no matter how minor or ordinary, could mark the beginning of their last moments on Earth.
While we are wondering when the Senate and House and FBI investigations are going to come to the rather obvious conclusion that the Trump campaign and Trump administration colluded with Russia, the policeman/killer of Philando Castile was found not guilty on all counts. His killer’s defense was that he “feared for his life” because Mr. Castile announced that he was lawfully carrying a firearm and then reached into his pocket to get his license and registration as his killer had requested.
While we are focused on thoroughly unprepared, untrained and inexperienced Jared Kutsher (whose only seeming qualification is that Donald Tinyhands is his father-in-law) travel to Israel on a hopeless and inevitably forlorn mission to broker the peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Charleena Lyles was shot and killed by the police in Seattle having called the police regarding her belief that a burglary was in progress in her own residence.
It should be noted that Ms. Lyles was a black woman. Ms. Lyles was the pregnant mother of four who was described by relatives as “tiny”. Ms. Lyles may have had mental health issues and when the police arrived it is reported that she had a knife. The response of the Seattle police was not to defuse the crisis through verbal interaction or use of non-lethal force. The response of the Seattle police was to shoot a pregnant black mother of four with her children present.
It may have happened in these United States at some place and time, but there appear to be no reports of pregnant white women being shot and killed by the police anywhere. It is hard to believe that police in any jurisdiction would shoot and kill a pregnant white woman in front of her children whether she was brandishing a knife, baseball bat or gun.
What should be clear to black Americans is that throughout the history of this nation black lives simply do not matter regardless of all the rhetoric, legislation and Constitutional amendments. What should be clear is that there is no way that the United States of America and the Attorney General who is the proud Son of the Confederacy, Jefferson Beauregard Davis III will lift a finger to make even the most rudimentary official inquiry into the death of Charleena Lyles or the acquittal of the killer of Philando Castile.
There is a Groundhog Day feel to this entire situation. Since the days of the Black Codes in the 1600’s to the Slave Codes in the 1700’s to the routine terrorizing and lynching of black Americans from 1865 to 1965, black lives do not matter – certainly not when compared to white lives. And the head fake slogan of “all lives matter” rings false when it is clear that in comparison to white Americans in multiple similar encounters with the police do not die with anywhere near the same frequency as black Americans.
The saddest part of this story is that within a week or a month of reading this column you will be reading about yet another police-induced atrocity involving a black American citizen who did not deserve to die whatever their transgression might have been.
It is said that this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is also the land where black lives do not matter.