Growing up unapologetically black in Chicago, I would always be amazed at the reaction of my white friends when I would recount my experiences with law enforcement, and my friends would always invariably respond with, "C'mon, Liv, you had to do something!" We even responded differently in face-to-face encounters with law enforcement: My white friends would brazenly question the officer's reason, no, his right to invade their person. Me? My southern-born parents had drilled into me what happens to black boys who think they're as free as white boys.
Well, a few decades later, I've evolved into the the New Brother -- requiring wrongness to adjust to me rather than me to it.
I don't have a segue, just a question that spawns from Slager/Scott -- why the hell hasn't this insanity stopped in 2015? What's the deal with the police and black men? Racial specificity is necessary because of the brutal journey of the African in America.
What is it that the black man construct represents to the police officer construct? Is it animalistic, untamed lawlessness? No, I don't think that's it. There are the many of us black brothers who have mastered and internalized the white construct. As a matter of fact, these brothers are better at being white than white people. When confronted by "Johnny Law" the only blackness that these brothers exhibit is genetic. Even they get punkinheads.
Here's part of what I think may be going on: the black man is a construct created by universally-known, but not universally understood, historical conditions. As well, the Euro-American hegemony is a construct created by known historical circumstances. Without getting to detailed in this writing -- the black man construct is the only modern consciousness that the Euro-American (Masters of the Universe) has not be able to conquer or collude.
There must be something about Africaness, the African spirit -- whether mythologized or true -- that frightens hegemony. Remember, specific injustices were done to a specific people. It is a universal truth that those made hard and creative by oppression dominate when given access. In other words, we are a threat to the status quo and the oppressor fears retaliation. Police are the guardians of the status quo.
Watching Officer Michael Slager shoot Walter Scott sent a shiver through me.
Am I daunted? Afraid? Paralyzed? Not at all. I am a man of faith, hope and I'm rooted in a historical tradition of action. We shall overcome.