Keith Lamont Scott was 43 when he was gunned down by police last night in Charlotte.
Police claimed he had a gun, but his daughter says he was unarmed, and that he was holding a book.
Look, I get it — our country is gun crazy. This culture of swaggering cowboys is a dangerous thing for police, who never know whether someone is holding a gun or a wallet — or a book.
But it’s hard to believe police when most of the mistakes are made when police are facing people of color.
Scott was not perfect. He had a record and was convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon 12 years ago.
But a 12-year-old misdemeanor charge does not warrant the death penalty, especially when whites routinely are taken into custody alive after heinous crimes.
I’m tired of hearing that a dead person of color was threatening to police because he or she committed some petty crime when white mass murderers are taken into custody alive. These things are NOT equal and we need to stop listening to racists telling us they are.
I’m tired of hearing that protests over these killings are misguided. If you say you understand but that the protesters should take a different tactic, then you don’t understand.
When you say Colin Kaepernick is wrong in his nonviolent protest, when you say frustrated and angry people who are fed up with systemic racism shouldn’t display their anger, you are showing your complete misunderstanding of the issue.
Well, tell me which form of protest meets with your approval, then?
Must it be quiet so it doesn’t disturb you?
Must it be out of your way so you’re not inconvenienced by it?
Must it be something that doesn’t provoke you to think about the meaning of your patriotism?
Notice I used the word misunderstanding instead of ignorance. In reality, it is ignorance. It’s too easy to deny the validity of people’s issues when you have the privilege of not having to bear those same burdens.
It’s easy to say “all lives matter” when your life and those of most of the people you know are not in danger because the color of your skin intimidates police.
If you think there’s no prejudice involved here, think again. Prejudice means pre-judging someone based on a characteristic they possess, in this case skin color.
Police answer these crimes committed by their ranks with lies (just look at police reports that have been debunked by video of these executions) and by arriving at protest scenes in riot gear and with military equipment.
What if police apologized to families and rooted out the bad apples among them instead of protecting them? Don’t you think the communities from which the victims came would start to heal?
As it is, police and their allies line up to defend the actions of a few, making them all look bad when (if) the truth comes out.
Here in North Carolina, video from police body cams and dash cams has been taken out of the public domain. Tell me, how should I react when I know there’s evidence, but it’s kept hidden by the very government that’s supposed to be seeking the truth and protecting me?
I’m in tears again this morning. I don’t know what more to do or say to make this overt racism visible to people who are refusing to see it.
What is it you fear? Are you afraid of losing your nearly unfettered access to guns?
Are you afraid people of color will gain truly equal rights and take something you consider yours?
Are you afraid of losing the white privilege you deny you have?
Stop saying “all lives matter” and recognize that at this moment, when black lives are being snuffed out by police bullets and by lack of access to health care and other unjust causes that are hugely disproportionate, we need to focus on the lives we’re losing.
At this moment in history, we already know that white lives matter. It’s time to concentrate on saving black lives and indigenous people’s lives and Latino lives.
It’s time for real justice, not the Wild West crap we’re seeing now.
Keith Lamont Scott was 43.
My son is 43.
My son is white.
My son also has made mistakes, but so far, he has not suffered the death penalty for those bad choices.
Don’t for a moment forget why I still have a son and Keith Lamont Scott’s mother does not.