I'm not going to talk about my goals today. There is something more important than them to discuss.
It is 2020.
How are the police still killing unarmed individuals?
How can we call ourselves first world nations made of civilized persons when this is still happening?
The FBI draw up profiles on people who are likely to be terrorists, serial killers, etc. Why is there not a profile on racist a**holes who are likely to kill people for no reason?
We have so much technology available, yet there hasn't been enough focus on capturing so-called bad guys instead of killing them.
I see a lot of people lately doing challenges online. I've been doing the 10 Movies That Have Impacted Me one.
What if we do a 10 Times I Thought I Might Die While Doing Something Ordinary Like Buying Diapers challenge?
Here are mine:
1. When I was 5, a friend dared me to throw a rock over a car. I missed and hit the windshield. Then the man came at us. We ran. I hid. He was a spoiled lawyer's son. My dad inspected the car. There was no damage. He told him to take a hike. The man was white.
2. During a high school trip, our play got cancelled because the director skipped town with the money. Half of the group went to see Mulan. The other half that I was in started later. The mall kicked us out while our chaperone was gone. On the street, a drunk man started talking to us. It was fine until his brother came up and thought we were trying to harm his brother. The man was pretty messed up and took a knife out. I can't remember their races. I also don't remember exactly how we got out of that, but perhaps that's when our chaperone returned and led us to the movie, which was Liar Liar.
3. Also in high school, a small group of us were walking over a bridge when some older teens hollered from their car windows. The boys I was with hollered back in fun and the car kept driving on. A little while later, they came and found us on a back street and hurt the boys I was with. They didn't hurt me, but I knew if I ran that the chances were I might not survive whatever might come next. After they left, we walked a little further to another friend's house and got some first aid and their parents took us home after we had calmed down. The boy I was dating at the time got mad at me for not trying to run. He thought they wouldn't hurt me simply because one had bumped into me and apologized. I later learned one of them was the brother of a local drug dealer and sex offender. They were a mix of races.
4. One of my exes charged toward me during a fight. I wedged myself into an area he couldn't get into until he cooled off. He said he couldn't believe I thought he would hurt me. He was white.
5. I had two drinks at a bar and was kicked out for being too drunk. I didn't understand how I was as inebriated as I was. I could barely walk. I managed to get into a cab and got home. I was very sick for several days after. I can't be sure, but I think someone must have drugged my drink that night.
6. I was late coming home one night from a friend's place. The cops were outside my building. There had been a shooting at a building across from mine.
7. When I came home on another night, there was a blond man in the hallway. He had a very dark look in his eyes as he looked through me. He was a white drug dealer. The next day, there were police in the hallway. The woman in that unit had overdosed and died.
8. After going to IKEA this year, there was a string of car accidents that I narrowly avoided being in the middle of.
I can't reach 10 scares over my whole lifetime. And none of those involve police potentially killing me. In fact, I've even had a gun pointed at my head when I worked at a police station. There was a training exercise that started in the basement while I was down there for a snack. It wasn't a pleasant experience, but their guns weren't loaded with real bullets and I was "on their side."
My point in all of this is that I think many can't finish this list. But there are many more who have to worry every day that they might not come home. Our soldiers are among them, but they signed up for some degree of that. I'm talking about regular people who need something like diapers for their little ones or visiting loved ones.
Rosa Parks stood her ground in 1955. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. It's now 65 years after that bus and we have people out there who still think it's no big deal if another human being loses their life at the hands of the police.
So I ask again, how can we say we live in a civilized country when this is still happening? In Canada, it is our Indigenous people who experience it the most. We like to think we're doing better here than the US, but it isn't the truth.
How do we get to the point where this is so far from acceptable that it becomes so exceedingly rare and no one has to worry that police will kill them? Can we get there? I see a number of posts online talking about unity, but I think it's bigger than that. If we all unite, but the states or provinces still don't adequately punish those officers who commit murder and nothing happens to their buddies who don't stop them, I don't think it will end. I would love to be proven wrong on this.
Maybe the challenge that should be taken up is devising ways the police can avoid killing other people. New tools. Strategies. Training that changes their mindset. Methods that prevent racists from being allowed to have a badge.
R.I.P. George Floyd