There was a time when we would hear about police violence and people of color. We would see evidence, but without excessive documentation and a stand-up witness, it was easy for folks to just look the other way with little effort.
Today, technology has changed everything. We have the ability to capture real-time evidence of the good, the bad and the ugly.
We also have a much better idea of what happened in the absence of cameras.
The ugly part is that it hasn’t changed much. It seems that the only thing it’s changed is that we now require a bit more effort from those who are determined to look away as injustice persists.
Two years ago, in November, we learned that Darren Wilson would have no consequences from killing Michael Brown.
Last December we learned that the police who murdered Tamir Rice just seconds after pulling up in their car would not face charges.
Today, a judge declared a mistrial in the murder of Walter Scott, a Black man who was shot in the back by police, who then attempted to plant a weapon on him.
There was a video of the whole thing.
One juror said he just couldn’t find Michael Slager guilty.
That juror looked away. When the judge heard about the hung jury days ago, he sent them back in to work it out. That juror essentially turned his chair around.
That’s a lot of effort.
And now more jurors “have questions.” #really?
And so, now, with a video that shows a man being shot in the back, there is no justice. Oh, sure, his family has already reached a settlement with the city, but the larger question of social justice…it remains unanswered.
So, how do we talk about this? Do I just tell Hope, “Ooops, they did it again?”
It really does become exhausting having some kind of hope that one day my daughter will be able to really see justice.
It’s like I’ve concluded that I won’t see it. My parents probably have only seen it fleetingly, but probably not.
What does the future hold for us?
And in the current national climate?
What should those of us parenting children of color think? What should we teach them? What will keep them safe? What will ensure they get justice if they ever need it?
It is a sad mystery.
December 5th, 2016 at 6:20 pm
I wish I had answers. How have you handled this so far? What do you tell Hope?
December 6th, 2016 at 9:32 am
I haven’t even brought it up. We were engrossed in other issues last night, that I just kept this one to myself. I’ll tell her the truth. What else can I tell her? I certainly can’t tell her that Walter Scott or his family got justice for his murder. 😦
December 5th, 2016 at 8:58 pm
It’s a cold, harsh, world. Children need to know they are loved and supported, but by the same token children need to learn how to face that cold, harsh, world.
December 6th, 2016 at 9:33 am
Knowing that reality is key to their survival.
December 5th, 2016 at 9:51 pm
Just a damn shame. Don’t even know what to say to my children. Sad.
December 6th, 2016 at 9:09 am
I’d been so glad the officer was charged when it happened… and was so angry reading about the mistrial last night.
December 6th, 2016 at 9:34 am
I was relieved to hear about the charges–though how they could have avoided charges in the face of the video evidence would have been as stunning as it was with Tamir Rice. But we have learned to be cautious about believing in justice at every step of the process. It’s a shame.
December 6th, 2016 at 4:02 pm
You know, had my husband done what this officer did when he was in Iraq or afghanistan, he’d be in ft. Leave worth right now. It is just ridiculous that we seem to afford our military “enemies” more rights than we do black (especially black male) American citizens.
So sad the charges didn’t bring anything about. Perhaps a manslaughter charge would have stuck, but the video didn’t show manslaughter now, did it?