Monday, December 22, 2014

Ismaaiyl Brinsley and the Tale of Here We Go Again

Ismaaiyl Brinsley was a motherfucker. I think we can all agree on that. He’s the “man” who shot two NYPD police officers. The patrol men, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were working overtime, working on an anti-terrorism drill when they were shot at point blank range in their squad car. They had families. He then fled the scene and turned the gun on himself. Seriously, Brinsley was a motherfucker.

What is going to happen next is that the #IAmDarrenWilson police “supporters” will blame the #BlackLivesMatter protesters for advocating this murder of two officers. Some police unions will join in the chorus, and everything that the protesters did to get people to understand that they were raising their voices against police BRUTALITY, not the police, will be undermined. Any upcoming protests will be very tense. Fox news is going to get very racist...actually, that is not a new thing...This, after even Congress took things seriously, and passed a bill that would help investigate all police related shootings. CONGRESS, the most inefficient of the three inefficient branches of our modern government did something! Motherfucking Brinsley...

Let’s try to not go down the road we seem to always travel in situations like this happens. Let’s not go to our usual mode of blaming Obama and Holder, claiming that they are stoking all this racial tension by bringing it up. Obama has been unsatisfyingly silent on most of these issues, and when he does speak, no matter what it is, it is either not enough or too much, depending on whether your favourite news source is MSNBC or Fox. Holder has been initiating investigations to see if there is a disparity in doling out justice, which is WHAT HIS JOBS IS. He is the Attorney General. If a DA investigates a case and discovers that a person has a stash of severed human heads, we don’t say that the DA is causing trouble by discovering that someone has the heads. We arrest that dude and applaud the DA.

Let’s not demand that leaders of the protesters speak out against Brinsley’s actions. That is insulting. We do this to Muslims in America all the time. The second a terrorist attack happens that was perpetrated by someone saying he’s Muslim, someone with a microphone and a camera demands that a Muslim cleric speak out against the attack, as if all Muslims can be painted with the same brush. Usually the idiot with the microphone never met a Muslim. This apologising for an entire race or religion or movement is dehumanising. No one demands that John McCain apologise for all Republicans whenever Louie Gomert opens his mouth. Contrary to popular belief, the #BlackLivesMatter protesters don’t want a random police chief to just apologise for the actions of a few. They want overall reform.

Let’s stop pretending that we are 1/0 entities. Throughout the year, the situation in America has been described in simple logic coding: IF person=black; THEN person=#BlackLivesMatter, ALSO person=anti-police AND anti-white AND secret criminal. IF person=white, THEN person=#IAmDarrenWilson, ALSO pro-police AND racist AND law-abiding citizen. IF person=believes any of this, THEN person=simplistic moron, ALSO person=needs to shut the hell up. Nothing is that black and white. Not all protesters are black “victims”, and not all policemen are white “oppressors”. This is exemplified in that the two policemen who were killed WERE NOT BLACK OR WHITE. Humans are Venn diagrams, not Boolean gates. Extreme people on either side of this movement want to paint the other side with one large brush.

Let us remember that ALL movements have extremist outliers who don’t represent the heart of the group, but manipulate their message in order to do terrible things. Remember how Christianity was manipulated to justify slavery? Does that mean that all Christians are bigots who are too lazy to do their own work? No. Also, let’s not lump the peaceful protesters in with this extremist schmuck. If we ARE going to bring up extremists, let’s lump Ismaaiyl Brinsley with other extremists who killed or injured cops: Jared and Amanda Miller, Dennis Marx, Byron Williams, Richard Poplawski, and Jerry and Joseph Kane. These are people connected to right-wing and Tea Party groups. They got less press, and they were usually viewed as “lone wolves”, not products of the movements they claimed to represent, as the NYPD police unions seem to want to do with Brinsley and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It seems a little bit odd that one would blame nonviolent protesters for the violent acts of one person against two patrolmen, yet not blame a movement known for its love of assault rifles and anti-government rhetoric for the murders and maimings of multiple people.

Let’s not shrug off this murder as chickens coming to roost. Specifically, Let’s not listen The Game and what comes out of The Mouth. The fact is that most of us want to have a good, pleasantville style relationship with their local law enforcement that others in the community enjoy. It can be done. It has been done. First, we need to acknowledge the long history of distrust due to legalised discrimination that festered up to the 20th Century. Blacks are 15% of the population yet are nearly 50% of the prison population. This is not because blacks commit more crimes. It is because blacks are punished more for the same non-violent crimes than whites, and sentencing for all crimes are closer to the maximum sentence for blacks than whites. In developing laws, the penal code leans towards punishing blacks more than whites. For example, look at the way the laws were crafted for possessing crack compared to cocaine, the more potent drug. Applauding the death of police officers, the people who are enforcing the laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law, does not resolve the main issues. So sentiments like The Game’s are The Inappropriate and The Totally Missing The Point.

I have friends in law enforcement, and I know that they are not programmed to assume I’m a suspect, or else I would not be friends with them. I know that most police aren’t inherently racist, but I do know that assumptions about me without knowing me prompt incidents like them stopping me when I’m walking in my own neighbourhood to question from whence I got my own tablet. These negative assumptions are why more unarmed blacks are killed by police while white men with machine guns seem to be able to be taken down and arrested with less bloodshed. The deaths of two policemen, who were just doing their jobs and working overtime to do it, just derailed the opportunity to discuss this disparity in any civil way, and drove the wedge further between law enforcement and the communities it is charged to protect.

Seriously...Ismaaiyl Brinsley was a motherfucker.

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