Unarmed White Man Shot by Police

black_tree farm

2014-11-30 – I found the following posted by my favorite right-wing Facebook friend AND by an African-American friend:

Unarmed White Man Shot By Police:
No Riots, Al Sharpton Silent, Obama Keeps Golfing

In case you might be getting the wrong idea, I have to tell you: the post by the African-American was not ironic. Or maybe semi-ironic, considering that he posted a right-wing report of the event that assumed that African-Americans would not be concerned. Yet he was totally concerned about the cop killing.

What’s going on?

Folks who come down on the cops, need to spend a few days riding around in a squad car. It can be a scary job. Especially with the explosion of guns that are out there. Especially with everyone on a hair trigger. The gun lobby tells us that the proliferation of guns will make us safe.

But only if you shoot first.

So, while it is true that some folks in some communities have been okay with shootings of unarmed black men—and children. They are pretty much okay with shootings of unarmed white men, as well.

Telling cops to stop it is not going to have much of an effect until entire communities make it their business to deescalate the arms race.

This doesn’t mean taking guns away from people, though that wouldn’t be a bad idea. It means teaching people to talk first, not shoot first.

Each one of these cop shootings brings one question to my mind. Why was the cop in such a hurry? Why couldn’t the cop have called in backup first? Why couldn’t the cop back off until help arrived? Why don’t they have strategies to bring people back from the edge? These strategies do exist. They do work. All they take is some time and patience.

Patience.

There’s no reward for patience.

Patience doesn’t just work in the heat of crisis. It works in the long, hard work needed to make communities safer as a whole. Some folks think the threat of a gun (in the hands of a “good guy”) is all it takes. But threats don’t create safety. Threats create counter threats. Getting to know the people in a community and treating them well is what will turn the tide. I’m not sure why that’s so distasteful to some people.

Those who live by the gun, die by the gun.

* * *

Shortly after posting this, I came across the following, which talks about the killing of a white man’s son:

What I Did After Police Killed My Son

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