Never mind the ongoing carnage of Black men: Daily Bullshit, July 8, 2016

I will be out of pocket for a few hours. There will probably be more later.


Racist killing

I have very little to say in response to the latest police killings of Black men that I have not previously said. These two incidents are part of an ongoing carnage, occurring at least in part because police have become revenue agents[1] and unmask yet again that law enforcement is directed primarily against the poor and against people of color.[2]

These particular killings appear to have gained widespread attention because in each case, someone had the presence of mind to video record them.[3] Which is almost to raise a rather disturbing question of whether such killings occur if no one is around to video record them. Of course they do, but our attention to the issue too often seems limited to when such recordings “go viral.” That yields distorted coverage as, at least from my perspective, it appears that the killing of five (a number that, as far as I know, may yet still rise) police officers at a protest against this carnage (one of many that occurred nationwide) in Dallas by two or more snipers,[4] one of whom Dallas Police Chief David Brown said “wanted to kill officers, and he expressed killing white people, he expressed killing white officers, he expressed anger for Black Lives Matter,”[5] gains more attention than the ongoing carnage itself.[6]

At all points, as we go back in the history of relations between whites and Blacks in the United States, a history that connects slavery, lynchings, and the death penalty,[7] we must remember that even if oppressors should not be totalized as oppressors and victims should not be totalized as victims, that there have always been oppressors and victims, and that the oppressors have overwhelmingly been white and that the victims have overwhelmingly been Black. Sympathy for police, who have far too often sided with the oppressor, distorts that narrative.

Kai Wright, “Why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Are Dead,” Nation, July 7, 2016, https://www.thenation.com/article/why-alton-sterling-and-philando-castile-are-dead/

Faith Karimi, Catherine E. Shoichet, and Ralph Ellis, “Dallas sniper attack: 5 officers killed, suspect identified,” CNN, July 8, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/08/us/philando-castile-alton-sterling-protests/index.html

Elizabeth Koh, “Dallas shootings bring number of police killed this year to 56,” McClatchy, July 8, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article88385592.html?rh=1

Dan Molinski, Dan Frosch, and Alejandro Lazo, “Five Police Officers Dead, Several Hurt at Dallas Protest,” Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/shots-fired-at-dallas-protest-over-police-shootings-in-baton-rouge-and-minnesota-1467947604


  1. [1]Jack Hitt, “Police Shootings Won’t Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down Black People,” Mother Jones, September/October, 2015, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/police-shootings-traffic-stops-excessive-fines
  2. [2]Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004).
  3. [3]Faith Karimi, Catherine E. Shoichet, and Ralph Ellis, “Dallas sniper attack: 5 officers killed, suspect identified,” CNN, July 8, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/08/us/philando-castile-alton-sterling-protests/index.html; Kai Wright, “Why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Are Dead,” Nation, July 7, 2016, https://www.thenation.com/article/why-alton-sterling-and-philando-castile-are-dead/
  4. [4]Dan Molinski, Dan Frosch, and Alejandro Lazo, “Five Police Officers Dead, Several Hurt at Dallas Protest,” Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/shots-fired-at-dallas-protest-over-police-shootings-in-baton-rouge-and-minnesota-1467947604
  5. [5]Faith Karimi, Catherine E. Shoichet, and Ralph Ellis, “Dallas sniper attack: 5 officers killed, suspect identified,” CNN, July 8, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/08/us/philando-castile-alton-sterling-protests/index.html
  6. [6]see, for yet another example, Elizabeth Koh, “Dallas shootings bring number of police killed this year to 56,” McClatchy, July 8, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article88385592.html?rh=1
  7. [7]Angela Y. Davis, Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture (New York: Seven Stories, 2005).

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