NY Times: Being “Arrested WIthout Incident” Is Totally Like #WhitePrivilege
So, here’s the deal: if you are arrested without being shot by a police officer, you must be Caucasian, so says the NY Times’ Charles Blow
The day after Christmas, a shooter terrorized the streets of a Chattanooga, Tenn., neighborhood. According to the local newspaper, the shooter was “wearing body armor” and “firing multiple shots out her window at people and cars.” One witness told the paper that the shooter was “holding a gun out of the window as if it were a cigarette.”
She fired at many vehicles, then led the police on a chase, even pointing her gun at officers at one point.
Surely this was not going to end well. We’ve all seen in recent months what came of people who did far less. Surely in this case officers would have been justified in using whatever force they saw fit. Right?
According to the paper, the shooter was “taken into custody without incident or injury.”
Who was this shooter anyway? Julia Shields, a 45-year-old white woman.
Take a moment and consider this. Take a long moment. It is a good thing that officers took her in “without incident or injury,” of course, but can we imagine that result being universally the case if a shooter looks different? Would this episode have ended this way if the shooter had been male, or black, or both?
What he forgets to tell you is that the officers told her to drop the weapon, and she did. Just like happens many many times, regardless of race. We just usually do not hear much about these situations, because they are not quite as sensational.
It’s an unanswerable question, but nevertheless one that deserves pondering. Every case is different. Police officers are human beings making split-second decisions — often informed by fears — about when to use force and the degree of that force.
Here’s an answer: cops in more suburban and rural areas are often on less of a hair trigger than those in deep Democrat cities, which have lots of crime and violence on a constant basis.
But that truth is also the trap. How and why are our fears constructed and activated? The American mind has been poisoned, from this country’s birth, against minority populations. People of color, particularly African-American men, have been caught up in a twister of macroaggressions and micro ones. No amount of ignoring can alleviate it; no amount of achieving can ameliorate it.
Strange since so many of those “macroaggressions and micro ones” tend to occur in Deep Blue cities, eh? Charles goes through the list of the outrages, Michael Brown, Eric Garner (who was not shot), Tamir Rice, Antonio Martin, and several others. All in Democrat areas.
Maybe one could argue that in some of those cases the officers were within their rights to respond with lethal force. Maybe. But shouldn’t the use of force have equal application? Shouldn’t it be color- and gender-blind? Shouldn’t more people, in equal measures, be taken in and not taken out?
Blow himself wrote it earlier (before qualifying it with raaaaacism), cops must make split second decisions. Sometimes that means shooting the perp. Sometimes, it means taking them into custody.
Why weren’t these black men, any of them, the recipients of the same use of force — or lack thereof — as Julia Shields?
Well, maybe you folks in Deep Blue Liberal areas should work on your racism.